Industry consortium to help agencies with HSPD-12

Several information security companies are collaborating to help agencies comply with Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12.

Called the HSPD-12 Interoperability Consortium, the collective seeks to eliminate confusion about guidelines on interoperability compliance among various HSPD-12 systems, including personal identity verification (PIV) cards, public-key infrastructures, middleware, card credential management systems, and biometric and physical access systems.

The formation of the consortium comes as the Oct. 27 deadline for HSPD-12 approaches. By that date, agencies must issue PIV cards to all their employees.

“HSPD-12 is not about having a better smart card,” said Deepak Kanwar, director of SafeNet’s Borderless Security business unit. “It’s about having the technology that surrounds the authentication.”

“Security is not one piece,” Kanwar said. “It’s not about locking the bar door and leaving the bar open.”

SafeNet is one of nine founding companies that make up the consortium. The other eight are Consul Risk Management, CoreStreet, Entrust, Forum Systems, Precise Biometrics, Probaris Technologies, Intercede and Omnikey. Each company handles a different component of HSPD-12. For example, SafeNet handles smart card authentication and encryption solutions. The group was formed following a closed-door meeting June 23 that 20 representatives from the nine companies attended.

SafeNet was also quick to capitalize on the consortium's potential for offering interoperable solutions. On the same day of the announcement, the company announced the release of its new PIV card, the Smart Card 400.

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