The Evolution of Physical Access Control to
FIPS 201-3 Touchless Face Biometrics

December 7, 2022 – From the desk of Neil Fallon.

As the year draws to a close Neil Fallon ponders how NIST has already prepared FIPS 201-3 for the post COVID environment. In 1978, at the dawn of personal computers, Peachtree Software was likely the earliest entry-level accounting software package for DOS operating systems. By 1984 they had developed an integrated office suite of applications included accounting, word processing and a database. They were considered the seventh largest microcomputer (PC) software company. With success comes competition and technologies replace older ones. Desktop accounting solutions were replaced with enterprise solutions which are being replaced with cloud applications. Peachtree is no longer sold under its original name and other accounting packages have become more popular.

Software development follows that same journey over and over. It is no different in the physical access control world. At the dawn of HSPD-12, Codebench stepped in and developed software that could manage the high-security credentials that NIST Special Publication FIPS-201 had created. Soon competition appeared, Codebench was sold to HID Global and innovative technologies are replacing old ones.

The next stage of this progression for access control systems in the US Government is touchless biometrics. As the world recalibrates life after a world-wide pandemic, discussions around touchless access control have emerged. Everyone has a new appreciation for how germs can be transmitted, and every surface touched by an employee can make that surface a carrier of disease.

The scientists at NIST may have been anticipating this post COVID reaction when they released FIPS 201-3 in January of this year. This new standard allows the use of Facial Recognition, the most frictionless technology, to be used as an authentication mechanism in a FICAM complaint access control system.

Just as Codebench fulfilled a need a decade ago, Identity One developed FIPSlink, an innovative next generation touchless solution that adds facial recognition to an access control system that uses CAC/PIV credentials.

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