Identity programs have always been an essential part of the federal government's security initiatives. Due to the large number of counterfeiting and tampering instances, however, ID card strategies will need to evolve in the next five years to remain effective against malicious outsiders, according to a report by HID Global.
These changes will become more important as federal agencies adopt electronic IDs to use with next-generation access control systems.
"Among the most important factors that will shape the industry as it moves to near-universal eID adoption are the twin imperatives for providers and partners to provide effective defenses against large-scale forgery attempts and adopt a holistic approach to projects," HID Global executive Craig Sandness said.
ID card trends in the public sector
In many cases, government agencies are adopting next-generation solutions capable of being used for more than one purpose, HID Global noted. For example, a number of federal organizations are adopting ID cards that can be used in access control systems, while also acting as a proof of identity, a healthcare ID and a wide variety of other functions.
"The multi-functional credential is becoming the norm, which means that counterfeit and fraud prevention, end-to-end implementation and integration expertise are now at the forefront of government ID requirements," Sandness said.
A major problem that agencies face, however, is the validation process. In many cases, agencies simply use visual confirmation practices to ensure an individual's identity. In fact, roughly 90 percent of all ID cards are checked by the human eye instead of in electronic readers, HID Global noted.
This is introducing more opportunities for fraud, as people are not as skilled at detecting false IDs as a computer program. As a result, more organizations around the world are creating plans to implement electronic access control systems.
A separate report by Global Industry Analysts echoed this finding, revealing the global market for electronic access control systems is forecast to generate more than $14 billion in revenue by 2017. This growth is largely attributed to the growing presence of terrorist activity, violence and other security threats to the public and government.
As electronic ID cards become more common, it will be increasingly important that decision-makers implement robust authentication and monitoring programs to ensure individuals are who they say they are.