VA, June 20, 2002
- KPMG Consulting, Inc. (NASDAQ: KCIN), one of the world's largest business
consulting and systems integration firms, has been awarded a contract
to test and evaluate biometric technology as an added layer of security
for the Department of Defense's new department-wide identification card.
The Defense Department's "Common Access Card," or CAC is a smart card with an embedded computer chip that is part of the DOD's nationwide effort to improve security at its installations worldwide. The CAC will be used to enable physical, authorized access to installations, buildings, and controlled spaces, as well as to gain access to military computer networks and systems. The CAC will be the standard identification card for all active-duty military personnel, Selected Reserve and National Guard, as well as the Department's civilian employees and eligible contractors. Over 600,000 cards have been issued to date, with distribution expected to exceed four million in the next two years.
Under the contract, KPMG Consulting's Smart Card Solution Team will demonstrate and evaluate biometric identifiers that could be used as an additional security mechanism for the card. Biometric identifiers verify an individual's identity by measuring unique human characteristics such as voiceprint, fingerprint, iris pattern, or facial contour. The results of the demonstrations will help the department determine which biometric technology to deploy in concert with the CAC and how to deploy it throughout the DOD.
Currently, a CAC is authenticated through a Personal Identification Number (PIN). For example, a DOD employee can gain access to a secure facility by inserting their CAC into a card reader and then entering a PIN on a keypad. However, with the addition of a biometric identifier, the employee might also have to place their fingerprint on a biometric device, which would verify their identity by comparing the fingerprint data to that stored on the smart card or in another database.
"We're looking forward to working with the department to evaluate biometric technologies that will add an extra layer of protection to the CAC," said Michael Palmer, managing director, KPMG Consulting. "An individual's biometric identifier cannot be stolen or shared. The card is what you have, the PIN is what you know, and the biometric is who you are. Combined, you have a very strong credentialing system."
The Smart Card Solution Team includes: SAFLINK™ Corporation (OTC BB: SFLK), a leading developer of integrated biometric security solutions; SPYRUS, a Public Key Infrastructure middleware provider; and Precise Biometrics, makers of fingerprint readers.
"We believe that the awarding of the DOD contract to KPMG Consulting and its team members is a major first step in the large scale adoption and deployment of biometrics within the government," said Walter Hamilton, Vice President of Business Development for SAFLINK. "Because of the increased security, user convenience, and cost savings that biometrics offers, we believe it is an ideal solution for the government's increased security needs in the wake of September 11."
"The CAC Biometrics task order using the SPYRUS Rosetta middleware for Microsoft platforms adds a new level of security by uniquely supporting the Common Access Card and the SPYRUS line of FIPS 140-1 Level 2 and Level 3 certified Hardware Security Modules," said Tom Dickens, Chief Operating Officer, SPYRUS, Inc. "This project validates the industry trend of replacing passwords with a higher assurance identification system using a combination of smart tokens, PINs, and biometrics."
"To be part of KPMG Consulting's Smart Card Solution Team and to work with the DOD is a great opportunity for us. It's another important step for us in a business area where we expect to see significant growth. The Common Access Card is well in line with our Match-On-Card TM concept and demonstrates the scalability of the biometric systems", says Christer Bergman, CEO of Precise Biometrics.
KPMG Consulting's team will provide development, training, testing, and post-delivery support to the Department of Defense's Biometric Working Group, Biometrics Management Office, and Biometrics Fusion Center.