Multi-tasking – It’s in the Cards
Or swipe the card and get a Pepsi, burger and sweet potato fries.
Give the Card a HandWhen it was time to replace the school’s old hand readers a decade ago, the administration evaluated various biometrics technologies such as facial, hand, fingerprint, iris and signature devices. At that time, the University needed an access control system that was fast, easy to use and foolproof. To provide a safe, secure campus, the school wanted to verify students entering residence halls and athletic facilities and to limit dining hall access to students who paid for a meal plan. Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies’ Schlage HandKey hand reader was the answer. Today, there are 59 readers in active service on campus, used in the dining rooms, Ramsey Recreation Center and all residence halls.
Bill McGee, manager, Bulldog Bucks office, Blackboard Transaction System, UGA card services, joined the University in 2007 coming from a similar position at Clemson, and inherited the biometric systems. “A biometric hand reader provides single point entry, a true ‘one to one’ match,” stresses McGee. “It calls for two types of verification, the person’s ID number and their hand. Importantly, the units can be calibrated to adjust the sensitivity of the hand reads. We want ours to be very accurate, assuring only the right person can enter. With more than 8.5 million transactions per year, we’re proving that that hand readers are durable.”
Beyond the DoorAfter using magnetic stripe cards for years to enter its dormitories, the University decided to tighten up residence halls security by also incorporating hand readers and requiring students to first swipe their ID cards in a slot on the biometrics reader to enter their ID number and then have their hands scanned. “Housing basically has an electrified door system,” reports McGee. “Any door can be opened from the control desk or remote desks around campus. We also have cameras on the doors. By adding the hand reader, we go from an access control system to a security access system. We feel that this is an important attribute. By simply putting one hand reader at an entrance, an organization can turn that door into a security system in its simplest form at a low cost.
• Library circulation privileges
• Building access
• Meal plans
• Student health facilities
• Access to recreational facilities
• Charge privileges at University bookstore locations
• Admission to athletic events
• University transit
• Access to student legal services
• Cavalier Advantage access to University services
This latter benefit is really helpful. Cavalier Advantage is an account on the student, faculty or staff ID card. It is activated once funds have been deposited with the University and conveniently eliminates the need to carry money on campus. Cavalier Advantage works as a declining-balance account on the ID card; funds must be available in the account for its use. When purchases are made, the balance decreases.
Open Platform the KeyBut, no matter the card, the key to going beyond security on an access card is having an open platform, adds Thomas. “You have to think about the platform, especially into the future.”
The issue of interoperability is important for vendors, integrators as well as end users. The Physical Security Interoperability Alliance, as one standards organization, realizes the importance as enterprises transition to IP, according to Ian Johnston, PSIA supporter and from IQinVision.
• Establish roles to facilitate identity proofing, information capture and storage, and card issuance and maintenance.
• Develop and implement a physical security and information security infrastructure to support these new credentials.
• Establish processes to support the implementation of a PIV program.
There are benefits in moving to PIV and PIV I for nongovernment users. In a security way, “the door opens and so does a network port” for the card holder, adds Rohrbach.
Stored Value Part of the CardAccording to the system’s developer, stored value cards offer some capabilities that credit cards do not. First, employees like the cards because they are convenient: employees can fund them automatically, and there are no interest charges like credit cards. And because they always have them with them at work, they are an easy method of payment. Companies like them also; some organizations’ benefits packages now include contributing to employees’ stored value cards each month. This is a boon to the organization for several reasons. First, it keeps employees on-site more during lunch hours, which increases productivity. This is well-documented, and best illustrated by the fact that a leading benefits consulting firm studied productivity of its own employees, and found that they spent far less time at lunch when they ate on-site. They opened a company-funded cafeteria at corporate headquarters, and saw productivity rise. Another benefit to the organization is that when the employee spends money on-site at retail operations owned by the company, the organization makes a profit on the sale, which can help fund the cost of the program.
Circling back to security core applications, Charles Robey, former Central Bank of the South security director, points out that card access must respond differently in different locations within an organization. “It demands a diversified plan.” For example, a centralized operation center can house the entire banking operation, from the general customer service area to the restricted main cash vault and the restricted computer room. “In my case, various entry zones were programmed, according to the risk involved, along with the times of authorized entry. Along with programming the access cards, cards were also color coded, according to the risk, and doubled as ID cards that employees were required to display on their person.”