SUREID: The Identity Vanguard
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SUREID: The Identity Vanguard

Steve Larson, Chairman & CEO Jim Robell, President & COO Abrar Ahmed, CIO & SVPTechnical Services, SureidSteve Larson, Chairman & CEO Jim Robell, President & COO Abrar Ahmed, CIO & SVPTechnical Services Anybody who watched Spielberg’s science fiction movie “Minority Report,” remembers Tom Cruise’s eyes. Set up in 2054, the movie revolves around the hidden device that can scan Cruise’s eyes, match his identity and address him by name—a concept that is christened into reality today as biometrics. Unlike a password, Personal Identification Number (PIN) or swipe card, biometrics deals with measurable physical characteristics, which push the chances of identity theft to nearly impossible. Starting in the early 1980s, organizations began digitizing fingerprints as mathematical formulas, or algorithms, enabling computers to match fingerprints faster, cheaper and easier than humans could ever do. Today, it is at the core of security systems at many government agencies and enterprises, helping them safeguard sensitive information, protect digital content and control physical access to avert possible risks. Every day, biometrics are enabling tens of thousands of people to enter buildings and access their computers. “Now, the game is changing to a stronger level of assurance on identity proofing,” reveals Abrar Ahmed, CIO and SVP-Technical Services, SureID. In an era where identity faking is more rampant than ever, a slip up can invite huge catastrophe for enterprises. Heralding such a scenario, SureID is an able torchbearer that helps organizations prevent any form of security related adversities.

Headquartered in Hillsboro, Oregon, SureID’s high-assurance identity management programs and services create secure and safe environments for military, government, nonprofit and commercial organizations. “We assist defense and federal agencies through our high assurance identity programs that have always been dedicated to protecting sensitive information,” says Ahmed. This cannot come as a surprise, as SureID is one of the few firms that deal with over a million identities in terms of enrolling and collecting biometric and biographic information.

SureID’s latest cloud-based identity management platform, dubbed the SureID® program, allows individuals to submit biometric and biographic information into a SureID registration kiosk. The intuitive user interface helps individuals to register easily into the program. After capturing their biographic and fingerprint data, SureID securely transports the credentials into an Integrated Database Management System (IDMS). “With the help of the IDMS we perform lifecycle management identity such as affiliation checking,” adds Ahmed.

SureID integrates leading-edge technology into solutions that combine registration, identity authentication and proofing, criminal history background checks, credentialing and validation for complete end-to-end high-assurance identity management. Once created, the high-level assurance ID credential can be issued to vendors and contractors who access logical and physical assets of the security sensitive agencies. “Strong biometric and biographic identity systems not only allow federal agencies to be aware of the identity of the person logging in, but also allow organizations to validate the identity at physical access points,” says Ahmed.

Five-Layered Identity Assurance Process

SureID offers a five-layer identity assurance process—registering, identity proofing, screening, credentialing, and validating—bestowing a better way to increase security. Once an enterprise enrolls at SureID’s registration center, individuals can register their personal information and answer a series of questions, coupled with an assessment of breeder documents (DLs, Passports etc.) to validate their claimed identity. After the identity is proofed, applicants are prompted to provide on-the-spot biometric data including photographs and fingerprints. SureID then uses background screenings, taking into account the multiple inputs from the applicant.


The PIV-I technology and process that we use for the RAPIDGate Premier program allows a single credential to be interoperable with the Federal bridge


Unlike traditional methods for background verification that only cover local criminal databases, SureID uses background screenings that rely on 96 local and national databases, government most wanted watchlists and the criminal history with all the counties where the registrant has lived in the past 10 years. SureID also uses additional background screenings on each applicant every 92 days to ensure maximum compliance and security.

With SureID, companies can grant logical or physical access based on role, privilege identity or trusted status. “Our SureID platform is scalable not only to critical infrastructure, but also for all organizations where trust and identity is essential,” says John Nee, VP of Marketing, SureID. “Through this, registrants get a digital identity that is proofed and validated.”

High-Assurance Identity Management

SureID’s flagship product, the RAPIDGate® program, is an end-to-end high-assurance identity management solution that delivers increased security and streamlined access to highly secure facilities such as military installations, government buildings, federal agencies, manufacturing and distribution sites, commercial buildings and ports. “The RAPIDGate program allows for multiple screenings of individuals, while using the ongoing records check of their criminal history,” says Ahmed.

The identity management platform comes with an inherent benefit for the end user to be a part of its program—it manages the risks associated with un-vetted third party personnel. Designed for the military, government, and commercial facilities, the program allows organizations to spend less time and resources screening third-party personnel who have already been vetted. The program maximizes security and vendor productivity by streamlining access to military installations, and reducing wait time, while being subject to random security measures.

It provides complete customer support in the registration and credentialing processes through a simple three step method: enrolling the company, registering employees at the local registration counter and then allowing the participant to pick up their credential. Once approved, the RAPIDGate program credential is accepted at most military installations across the U.S. and because of the constantly updating database, if there is ever any problem with the credential holder, access will be denied across the network, protecting people and businesses. “This gives us the ability to read a RAPIDGate credential and validate a person’s identity to a fingerprint match, ultimately providing the capability to read smartcards they may have in addition to a driver’s license,” states Ahmed.

"We help security-conscious organizations and agencies that are dedicated to protecting its people, assets and sensitive information"

Additionally, the RAPIDGate program also offers an enhanced option that meets PIV-I credentialing standards in accordance with HSPD-12 and FIPS 201- 2, called RAPIDGate Premier. “The PIV-I technology and process that we use for RAPIDGate Premier allows a single credential to be interoperable with the Federal bridge,” says Nee. The PIV-I credential uses the same type topography as the standard RAPIDGate program credential and authenticates the person’s identity by relying on validated documentation. SureID has issued over 150,000 PIV-I credentials through the RAPIDGate Premier program.

The RAPIDGate program has additional capabilities with RAPID-RCx®. RAPID-RCx is a Perimeter Installation Access Control Program designed to electronically read/scan and validate personnel with Common Access Cards (CAC), military retiree and dependent credentials (TESLIN), Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC), PIV and Drivers Licenses (DL).

Innovation—The Key Fabric to Success

Innovation is the key element of SureID’s fabric to success. “At SureID, we believe that at the end of the day, identity matters. Our mission is to provide a safe and secure identity solution,” says Ahmed. With over 40,000 companies enrolled in the RAPIDGate program, SureID is disrupting the identification management paradigm and has received several accreditations and certifications from the DoD, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Homeland Security.

For a ‘smart’ and secure future, SureID is keen on replicating its success on mobile and cloud platforms, with the advent of the SureID cloud identity platform. En route to this journey, the company will continue leveraging technology to improve its offerings from an efficiency, usability and security perspective. “Forging ahead, we will continue looking at these elements to see how they integrate with the solutions we offer,” Ahmed concludes.

- Urmi Sengupta
    March 14, 2016