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Creating a secure credential lifecycle to drive border security

Submitted by on 30 Nov 2016 – 14:40

By Wayne Fletcher, Global Director Government Vertical Marketing, Entrust Datacard

In an increasingly global market, people everywhere are moving freely across borders and around the globe at a rapid rate. International travel topped 1.1 billion in 2014 , continuing a rapid surge that will have 1.8 billion people crossing national borders by 2025.

For governments and border control agencies tasked with moving these record-high numbers of travellers securely and efficiently across their borders, the challenge has never been more complex.

Threats abound, from growing terrorism to escalating drug trafficking ($435B in 2015), human trafficking ($32B in 2015) and firearms trafficking ($1B in 2015). Combatting these threats becomes that much more difficult with more than 53 million lost or stolen travel documents in circulation worldwide, as well as millions of individuals arriving with unreliable or falsified credentials — or no credentials at all.

What lies at the core of this challenge? When an individual arrives at your border, how do you know that they are who they claim to be, and how do you reliably know where the individual has travelled — or where they are ultimately going?

The right tools exist

In fact, the technology-based solutions necessary to address this challenge already exist. These technologies range from digital security, such as public key infrastructure (PKI), to enhanced physical document security.

The challenge now, as stated by Interpol president Mrs. Mireille Ballestrazzi at Interpol World 2015, is for governments to utilize the information already available to them — to consolidate information and enhance inter-state collaboration to drive better, faster and more secure border control decisions.

Trusted identity in context: the elements of secure credentials

The secure document lifecycle creates three distinct, complete histories — the credential history, the individual history and the travel history. In leveraging all three histories, the focus is not on management of a physical document, but rather on the management (i.e., integrity and validity) of individual identity.

These distinct histories provide critical context that enable border agents to validate the identity of the traveller in front of them with respect to three key questions: Can we trust this credential? Can we trust this individual? And, does the travel history match the travel itinerary?

Elevating trust through collaboration

The security of travel credentials and the effectiveness of border control will always be partially dependent on and greatly enhanced by collaboration between countries. But by taking this first step — implementing existing technologies to consolidate powerful identity information — each individual country best positions itself for secure and efficient border control.

An integrated solution for trusted identity

Many governments and border control agencies looking to implement the ICAO 9303 standards for creating trusted travel credentials are turning to Entrust Datacard for a complete, end-to-end solution. The Entrust Datacard approach combines physical document security and robust digital security technologies, including proven PKI — supported by the company’s long history with these technologies and deep understanding of the evolving challenges in the border control world.

These fully integrated solutions allow Entrust Datacard government partners to align secure document production with secure document validation, which ensures trust and security throughout the entire credential lifecycle.

Envisioning a better (more secure) border experience

Entrust Datacard trusted identity solution deployments are already delivering proven results for nations of all sizes:

• High-assurance identity: complete traceability back to the point of credential origin gives agents high confidence in validating credential authenticity.

• Efficient validation and processing: overt physical document security, combined with advanced digital security, enables faster credential validation, driving faster processing and a more convenient travel experience — without compromising security.

• Risk mitigation: establishing trusted identity that links a secure credential with accurate individual and travel records increases the chances of catching known threats.

It’s time to make the most of the information at hand

It’s daunting to consider the challenge of identifying the billions of people moving across borders today. But we’re more capable than we realize. There is a lot of information we can obtain — and a lot of information we already know.

The next step is synthesizing this information in a fast, accurate and intuitive solution that drives better border control decision-making. ICAO has articulated the framework for this solution — leveraging existing technologies for physical and digital credential creation, issuance and validation.

This provides governments with complete visibility to document and identity lifecycles and enables traceability throughout the entire lifecycle of a travel credential.

The tipping point will come as more governments deploy these solutions and best practices to create trusted identities that drive security, efficiency and convenience at borders and throughout an interconnected identity ecosystem.