Smart Card Alliance Celebrates U.S. Federal Government's ID Security Successes at HSPD-12 10th Anniversary Event

Princeton Junction, New Jersey, UNITED STATES

PRINCETON JUNCTION, N.J., Aug. 6, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The U.S. federal government has been steadily moving towards higher levels of cybersecurity and efficiency in the 10 years following the signing of landmark security directive HSPD-121, government leaders shared last week at a special Smart Card Alliance HSPD-12 10th Anniversary event in Washington, D.C.

The event commemorated the government-wide security directive signed by President George W. Bush in August 2004, which drove momentous change in the way the U.S. federal government manages employee and contractor identities and access to government facilities. HSPD-12 and the resulting FIPS 201 standard established practices for verifying identities and issuing secure, reliable and tamper-proof PIV2 credentials that could be rapidly authenticated electronically across government. PIV cards are issued to government employees and contractors for secure access to government buildings and IT systems, and the standards have been extended for non-federal and commercial use.

Some of the many successes celebrated at the Smart Card Alliance event included:

  • Today, more than 90 percent of all government employees and contractors have been issued PIV cards – a major achievement. In only 10 years, standards have been defined, PIV cards and card readers have been developed and produced, and secure issuance procedures, including background checks, have been developed and implemented government-wide.
  • Future goals include reaching 100 percent issuance, developing PIV and PIV-derived credentials for multiple devices including mobile, increased usage of digital signing and encryption of emails and transactions, and the acceptance of PIV credentials by physical access control systems (PACS) across the government.
  • The typical day in the life for government employees is much more efficient. 10 years ago, an employee may have multiple badges for multiple purposes issued in multiple ways for physical access to buildings, along with several usernames and passwords and an expensive one-time password (OTP) token for access to networks and systems. Today, employees have one badge that has been issued in a secure manner that can be trusted by any federal agency and used for access to any PIV-enabled facility or website.
  • Innovation is important for the future. Government and industry speakers indicated that the future roadmap for PIV credentials includes biometrics, mobile credentialing, expanded use in transit and applications for the cloud.
  • HSPD-12 has laid the foundation for strong, trusted identities that will help the federal government meet physical and cyber security challenges in the future.

"HSPD-12 required a total overhaul of the government's approach to identity management and security and is a project of unprecedented size and scope. The successes of the past 10 years have, too, been unprecedented and represent our government leaders' determination and vision for the future of interoperable and trusted credentials. Now that the foundation has been successfully laid, there is a clear commitment to the next steps: increasing PIV card usage and leveraging mobile and cloud technologies," said Randy Vanderhoof, executive director of the Smart Card Alliance.

The Smart Card Alliance will next host the 13th Annual Smart Card Alliance Government Conference on October 29-30, 2014 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. The conference will feature more than 75 government and industry leaders speaking on PIV credentials, government-focused efforts in the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC) initiative, trusted ID on mobile devices, developments in state and local ID programs and global trends in secure identification. Details regarding the agenda and registration can be found at and on Twitter by following @SmartCardOrgUSA, #govsmartID.

About the Smart Card Alliance

The Smart Card Alliance is a not-for-profit, multi-industry association working to stimulate the understanding, adoption, use and widespread application of smart card technology.

Through specific projects such as education programs, market research, advocacy, industry relations and open forums, the Alliance keeps its members connected to industry leaders and innovative thought. The Alliance is the single industry voice for smart cards, leading industry discussion on the impact and value of smart cards in the U.S. and Latin America. For more information please visit

1 Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12

2 Personal Identity Verification


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