Security Solutions speaks to Bernard Evans, Sales Director, Physical Identity Access Management at HID Global.
- Firstly, thanks for ‘speaking’ with us. It has been a while since we discussed HID Global, so can you please start with a quick overview about the company’s activity in the past year or so?
As always, HID Global has been active across all our markets. We are committed to constant R&D to ensure that our customers always have the most up-to-date technology available to them.
In Identity and Access Management, we have been focused on supporting security for organisations as they manage the new hybrid workplace. Enterprises are at different stages of going back to work, some are in their facilities, some are still online and many need to be able to work from anywhere at any time. We are delivering the highest levels of security to provide workforce access to physical spaces, networks, data, applications, and many others based on secured identities.
We also just launched our HID Crescendo® smart card family now supports HID® iCLASS® credential technology and a whole lot more.
- Looking specifically at your HID Safe for Government solution, can you please tell us a bit about that, and what ‘gaps’ it will fill in the market?
Due to the nature of government agencies and their typical geography, enrolling and managing people onto the digital and physical platforms is inherently tricky. You have users dispersed over wide geographic areas, often using multiple physical access control systems, which are often a mix of legacy and newer systems. There must be mandates and rules around training, background checks and so forth.
Things like visitor management must also be considered, as well as audits and compliance processes. This generally leads to complex deployments and high costs. What we are bringing to market now is the HID SAFE for Government, which provides a policy-based approach to managing and enrolling digital cardholders into diverse Physical Access Control Solutions (PACS).
This approach enables the flexible enrolment, validation and processing of individuals gaining temporary or long-term access to a given facility. It comes with a policy-based approach to guard against fraud as well. Plus, it helps with real-time audit and compliance, but none of this actually changes the existing physical security infrastructure. Therefore, it improves efficiency, security and safety but saves the cost of replacing hardware and systems.
- How does government security in Australia stack up, compared to other countries? Are we ahead or behind?
Our government is now starting to build up platforms to secure, modernise and automate access to physical and digital spaces, while centralising management of facilities and networks to improve services. Australia is catching up with the US in the Physical Identity Access Management environment but ahead of many countries around the world.
- With no single ‘perimeter wire’ these days, how does a converged solution manage to protect everything moving in and out of a busy government or council building? Are we talking about solutions which can protect against digital assets, physical threats, the whole lot?
Yes, we are. Literally every device that is carried into a premises can be considered a risk, and the idea of a secure perimeter is long gone. Physical access control must now converge with logical access control to protect individuals, the physical space itself and all the collateral inside it – whether that be a locked door, a PC, printer, a white board or many others.
Further to this, solutions can now evaluate how many people are in a certain space and adjust temperatures and usage accordingly. Also, it is possible to manage internal contact tracing using the same systems. So yes, solutions don’t just stop people moving in and out of a space, they are capable of a vast array of safety, comfort, and security measures.
- Tell us a bit about HID’s current involvement with government agencies and bodies in Australia – do you have active customers in the public sector?
Large organisations in law enforcement and in communications in Australia already are benefiting from Identity and Access Management to secure access to their physical workspaces.
Implementing HID global solutions allow these organisation to obtain higher return on investment allowing them to integrate and retain current systems while significantly improving their service levels managing staff, visitors and contractor’s access.
- What do you see as the main threats to a government’s premises and its assets these days?
The world has become a much more complex place in recent times, and increasingly we are seeing bad actors and nation states attempting to gain leverage by attacking digital assets. Therefore, a smart, converged access control system is a critical first line of defence against not just the traditional threats – such as a rogue employee or individual trying to enter a building, but for protecting access to the devices inside that building, and information they carry and have access to.
- What is on the near horizon for HID Global? Any big developments or announcements coming up?
HID Global is focusing in providing more solutions on the cloud across business units and geographies, teaming up with partners to deploy our solutions worldwide and enhancing our customer success programs with our new Global Customer Care Governance initiatives.