The Evolution of Physical-Logical Convergence & Multi-Technology Systems

Winds of change bring versatile interoperability to access control

Next-generation secure identity platforms using TIP and SIOs also support the industry's vision to combine physical and logical access control in a single solution. These converged solutions enable a single smart card to support multiple authentication methods, enforce policies throughout the enterprise and provide multi-layered security across company networks, systems and facilities.

The Federal government has established its vision for converged physical and logical access in Homeland Security Presidential Directive-12 (HSPD-12). According to a February 2011 memorandum issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), starting next fiscal year, existing physical and logical access control systems must now be upgraded to use Personal Identification Verification (PIV) credentials in accordance with National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) guidelines, before federal agencies may use development and technology refresh funds to complete other activities. These systems must leverage smart card and biometric technology and support identification credentials according to government guidelines.

To meet these needs, security dealers and integrators will need to partner with suppliers who can provide seamless solutions that don't require a wholesale rip-and-replace upgrade of the existing access control infrastructure. Next-generation secure identity solutions will enable federal agencies to comply with government mandates, with all necessary audit support, on an incremental, pay-as-you-go basis, while still preserving investments in existing physical access control head-end servers, panels and door control hardware.

We are entering a new era of multi-faceted converged access control solutions that go well beyond yesterday's requirement simply to migrate from Prox to contactless solutions. The coming generation of converged solutions will support multiple standards and technologies in a single solution, while executing both physical and logical access control.

Dave Adams is the senior product marketing manager with HID Global,