Trickle Down Effect | Personal Identity Verification (PIV) and Corporate Sector

Deciphering the alphabet soup of the federal government market has never been easy, but today’s federal security vernacular includes a whole host of new terms that are now the very definition of access control in the government sector.  These acronyms — FIPS-201, FICAM, HSPD-12 — are now government wide directives that mandate a federal standard for secure and reliable forms of identifications and details how they are installed in federal facilities and related civilian facilities.

government personal identity verificationDriven by federal identity and credentialing standards, which aim to integrate both physical and network access on the Personal Identity Verification credential, these initiatives are seeking to bring parity and standardization to the security systems of government facilities as well as higher degrees of security to federal installations of all sizes and functions.

To those not involved in the government sector, these standards may seem of little importance, with few implications for the bread and butter of today’s security industry. But if you drill down a little deeper into the origins and logistics of the PIV project, you might find more relevance than you think.

At its heart, the PIV credential and the larger, overall FIPS-201 initiative – the acronym for the Federal Information Processing Standard — is one big convergence project, albeit one of the most ambitious to date. The main goal is to ensure the automatic verification and validation of the cardholder’s identity to protect an enterprise’s physical and informational assets.

Like most high-tech technology, the PIV initiative has begun in the government sector, although not in the traditional sense. Unlike the Star Trek-type, DARPA funded technology, tested in the battlefield and then dumbed down and commercialized for a rollout to the private sector, in this instance, the government has served more like the world’s largest consumer, including in this mandate nearly 6 million federal employees in various stages of receiving their PIV card. As such, products and services already exist that satisfy these requirements.

Just a year ago, government IT officials issued a call to action for PIV, mandating that agencies must provide an implementation plan – and then actually follow through on that plan. This affected civilian firms that act as federal contractors as well.

These firms, large and small, are well on their way to compliance with PIV and are mandated to have physical access control systems that are capable of verifying and authenticating a cardholder’s identity and access rights. The only difference between these contractors and similar firms is who their customer is – government entities vs. private sector companies.

If you are an integrator, systems designer or security director of private sector firm, are you keeping an ear out for the latest on PIV? Listen as I give an overview of US Government security initiatives/mandates and explain possible opportunities and solutions for these initiatives during a recent webinar.

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What road blocks have you encountered during PIV compliance? Leave us a comment.

Healthcare: Importance of integrating legacy analog with new IP video surveillance systems

Cost is often a major consideration when it comes to deciding whether or not to upgrade video surveillance technology. While many corporations, schools, and government facilities may be eager to embrace the latest technology available, budgets often dictate their adoption rate.

Nowhere is this struggle more evident than in the healthcare market where many hospital camera systems are greater than five-years old and comprised of analog-based security surveillance systems. Since hospitals are vast and diverse environments, with multiple floors and entrances and the need to continuously protect employees, patients and visitors, the number of camera systems at these facilities can be significant. The average hospital of 300-500 beds can have as many as 200 cameras installed, but for many larger hospitals that number can be much greater.

IP video surveillance systems

When faced with such a large-scale task of upgrading the camera system, what is a hospital security department to do? Because hospital security staff are often managing video from hundreds of cameras, it’s important for them to have a single interface to view live and recorded feeds from both analog and IP cameras.

Many hospitals are beginning to recognize that there is a migration path that enables them tointegrate legacy, analog cameras with new IP surveillance cameras and leverage the benefits of both types of technologies. By implementing a unified solution it provides a single solution to manage video from both DVRs and NVRs.

Offering a unified solution approach provides a clear technology migration path. It’s important to give security directors the necessary tools to incorporate newer technology over a period of time, but still have the ability to use their existing analog cameras and recorders. They want to maximize their investment and strategically switch to IP without engaging in an endless cycle of rip and replace.

Taking a unified solution approach also provides healthcare facilities with the flexibility to add megapixel camera technology when and where they need it most. In addition, hospitals with multiple campuses also have the added benefit of pushing critical information to operators in different locations, enabling them to view surveillance footage or alarms immediately.

For the healthcare industry, these technological advancements are critical to ensuring they have the resources available to continue to deploy the best security solutions possible

The victor unified video management solution from American Dynamics can help your healthcare facility better manage its migration to IP. Also, visit the Healthcare Security Solutions area on the Tyco Security Products website for more on security integrations.


Has your healthcare facility migrated its surveillance system to IP? If so, how was the experience? If not, what questions do you have about IP migration?