EROs can get smarter

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Emergency response officials (EROs) need to be able to identify themselves everyday and in an emergency. A new white paper published by the Smart Card Alliance shows them how.....

Emergency response officials (EROs) need to be able to identify themselves everyday and in an emergency. Events such as the September 11th attacks and Hurricane Katrina have shown that it is essential that these credentials be secure, electronically verifiable, and trusted across multiple jurisdictions. Smart card identity credentials in the US based on Federal Information Processing Standard 201 (FIPS 201) meet these requirements, and take advantage of the enhanced ID infrastructure federal, state and commercial organisations have already put in place, the Smart Card Alliance Identity Council said in a white paper released at the end of October 2008. The white paper, 'Emergency Response Official Credentials: An Approach to Attain Trust in Credentials across Multiple Jurisdictions for Disaster Response and Recovery', identifies best practices and defines use cases for ERO credentials based on the US FIPS 201 standard, and outlines how these credentials can meet identity goals of trust, privacy, interoperability, and usability. It also describes recent demonstrations and pilots of the First Responder Authentication Credential (FRAC) that have involved emergency response officials in the National Capital Region, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Texas, Illinois, Florida and Colorado. The white paper is available to download on the Smart Card Alliance website. " FIPS 201 smart card–based credentials, already mandated and being implemented across US federal government organisations, provide a fast, secure electronic identity validation process and work in all environmental conditions –– even when power or communication capabilities are not available, " said Randy Vanderhoof, executive director of the Smart Card Alliance. " This white paper outlines how the emergency response community can leverage this secure identity platform and apply added first responder attributes to make trusted credentials part of the system. This white paper is an ideal resource for all organisations in the emergency response community, especially those that are now reviewing their identity, access, and credentialing requirements. " The white paper was developed by the Smart Card Alliance Identity Council and Physical Access Council. The Identity and Physical Access Council members that contributed to this report include: BearingPoint, CardLogix, Cogent Systems, CoreStreet, Diebold Incorporated, EDS, Fargo Electronics, Gemalto, HID Global, Hirsch Electronics IDmachines, IDTP, IQ Devices, Northrop Grumman, Oberthur, Probaris, Sagem Morpho, Thales e–Security, Tyco International and the US Department of State.

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