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Why Advanced Visual Security is a Critical First Line of Defense

October 18th, 2018
With headlines in the news about terrorist attacks, shootings at schools and hospitals, and rampant identity fraud, security has become top of mind. Some sort of identification is required – whether it’s a passport, driver’s license, employee credential, student ID card, or proof of insurance. 

To prevent fraud, ID cards are getting more sophisticated, with specific text or embedded data that helps confirm the identity of the cardholder. However, these unique identifiers are only useful when the person checking ID cards has the right tools. Without the proper tools and training, it is exponentially more difficult to validate that the card has not been forged or stolen and that the person possessing it actually is who he or she claims to be. That’s when visual security becomes a critical first line of defense. Individuals in high-security facilities need to be able to easily and readily identify that the person holding an ID card is, in fact, the legitimate cardholder. 

BlueStar is at the cutting edge of technology with leading suppliers for visual ID-card solutions which help to protect people, companies and institutions from unauthorized use and fraud. 

Government Agencies 

The primary security concern of government agencies is protecting their citizens, legal foreign residents and employees, as well as highly secure government facilities. In addition, they seek to reduce the incidence of government-funded benefits fraud, enforce laws and secure borders, while containing, or even reducing, their technology costs. These activities have become more important in the last decade, as budgets have been slashed dramatically, identity fraud has been on the rise and targeted terrorist attacks have become more frequent and increasingly violent. 

Government agencies must therefore take every effort to ensure that they know who is entering or exiting a country or a building, purchasing weapons, and/or utilising their services. 

Healthcare 

Whether healthcare services are privately managed, like in the United States, or run by the government, as it is in Canada and many European countries, similar challenges exist with regard to preventing medical identity theft and ensuring the privacy of those insured. Healthcare fraud is a significant problem and one that involves a larger cost than was previously thought. 

In attempts to avoid medical identity theft and limit liability, hospitals, clinics, doctors’ offices and pharmacies now require picture ID when an insurance or healthcare benefits ID card is presented. But both the insurance cards and photo identifications could be susceptible to counterfeiting, still leaving healthcare organizations unprotected from the significant costs attributed to fraud they were hoping to deter. 

There currently is an ongoing movement to create a Voluntary Universal Healthcare Identification (VUHID), which is based on two ASTM International E 31 standards to make globally unique healthcare identifiers available to any person who wishes to have one.4 

Education 

As the university market becomes more technologically savvy, forward-thinking institutions are enabling students to use their traditional ID cards for a wider variety of purposes – from dorm access and meal purchases, to transportation and financial transactions both on and off campus.5  With these converged cards, the implications of student ID fraud have grown. It’s no longer a matter of using student IDs to simply ensure that an individual has a legitimate purpose for being on campus. Fraudulent use of IDs can result in universities – and parents, students, teachers and administrative staff – losing significant amounts of money in their cafeteria or school store programs, or from personal banking accounts becoming compromised.6 

In addition, both parents and students place a high level of value on safety. Universities that employ leading security technology have a competitive edge over those that do not. By leveraging advanced visual security features on students’ “smart” ID cards, universities can enhance their brand image with greater personalization and stronger security for those in their campus community. Advanced visual security tools are a natural complement to many of the newer data storage technologies that universities are now using to replace conventional, and less secure, magnetic stripes on their student and staff ID cards. 




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