Daniel Clark

Physical Security Representative

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs


High Security and Access Control: Best Practices in Government Security

Tuesday, May 21st

What do high security and access control in the government sector really mean? There are stringent requirements for the types of credentials allowed to be used by federal employees in highly sensitive positions. Traditionally, these employees have relied on various types of PIV cards; however, many federal employees don’t fall into this classification – such as office staff, janitorial staff, patients in VA hospitals or faculty, staff and students at schools run by the federal government. These individuals have historically been provisioned run-of-the-mill plastic cards that can be insecure and difficult to manage.

These higher-risk proximity cards can be transitioned to Bluetooth-based mobile credentials to make accessing federal buildings easier and more secure, and Bluetooth Low Energy technology can be used for secure reader configuration; however, there is significant hesitance to use a Bluetooth technology in the government sector, despite the potential benefit of newer solutions such as mobile credentials.

Additionally, there are a host of physical access control solutions on the market. SIA Open Supervised Device Protocol-supported access control systems can communicate and exchange data securely and efficiently, ensuring only authorized individuals can access certain areas – and therefore preventing unauthorized physical access and potential security breaches; however, not all systems are created the same. Cards can now also contain embedded authorization, which allows users to digitally verify against a federal repository for that credential holder.

This panel will explore these newer access control technologies, cover best practices in access control for the government sector while maintaining federal standards and address the questions audiences need to be asking to inform their government security decisions and select the right solution for them. The session will also work to overcome the myth that “Bluetooth is bad” and educate attendees on what is allowed in the government sector in terms of Bluetooth and mobile credentials. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions during a Q&A portion following the panel.