Improving Border Security with Better Technology Solutions: ePassports and Acuant CHIP™

Governments are increasingly turning to advanced technology like ePassports to secure their borders and its about time. Some nations like the Netherlands and Brazil use ePassports throughout their countries, but in many cases, it seems like the technology is far ahead of the adoption. With 328 ports of entry, more than 7,000 miles of borderlands and 95,000 miles of shoreline, the U.S. cannot rely on physical barricades and security checkpoints alone. ePassports that contain biometric information can be used by border security to quickly verify the identities of travelers without sacrificing accuracy.

Biometric passports include microprocessor chips that are embedded into the cover. Currently, facial, fingerprint, and iris recognition are the three types of biometric methods used in e-Passports. The chip contains a digital file of each biometric feature, and a comparison of features is performed at the time of crossing. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has detailed the specifications that machine readable travel documents should have to create standardization across countries. Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) is used to authenticate the traveler’s identity through the passport chip. PKI makes it difficult for identity thieves and other criminals to forge ePassports.

Facial recognition is another component of ePassport technology that can aid with border security. Canada is already planning to use facial recognition technology within their major airports by the end of 2017. This new technology aims to allow passengers to use self-service border kiosks to assist with clearance. As biometric identity verification becomes more reliable and commonplace, consumers can use this technology through their mobile devices or at self-service kiosks in airports.

The omnipresence of biometric technology will enable more thorough screenings in less time. Chip readers can also be used in more commercialized settings, like in the hospitality industry. International travelers can use ePassports at self-service kiosks in hotel lobbies to bypass the language barrier and check into their rooms. ePassports can expedite the check-in process for hotel guests while leaving hospitality staff free to provide more personalized service.

Our new partnership with Mount Airey Group, a provider of identity solutions to federal agencies, launches the industry’s most comprehensive authentication product that will strengthen border control by minimizing the use of fraudulent passports. Acuant CHIPTM – our chip reader technology will be a core component integrated with Mount Airey Group’s Ozone® ePassport validation product.

The comprehensive ePassport solution is designed to handle a host of issues unique to passports with individualized policies for every country, and complies with all ISO and ICAO standards. We expect demand for these solutions to grow with the continued proliferation of ePassports and chip technology for border control as well as for commercial use. The convenience of ePassports makes them optimal for airports, where long lines at security checkpoints are common. Mobilizing chip reading technology in border environments will also enhance the coverage, responsiveness, and flexibility of field operations. Biometric technology is poised to become a vital component to national security and by converging physical and digital identities through ePassports, border security can improve accuracy and effectiveness.

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Mount Airey Group and Acuant Partner to Launch First-to-Market Chip Reader Technology for Passport Authentication

LOS ANGELES, March 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Mount Airey Group, Inc., a premier provider of identity solutions to federal agencies, is partnering with Acuant, a leading provider of data capture and authentication solutions, to launch the industry’s most comprehensive authentication solution for border control minimizing the acceptance of fraudulent passports.

Acuant’s newly developed chip reader technology, Acuant CHIPTM will function as a core component of AssureIDTM which is integrated with Mount Airey Group’s Ozone® e-Passport Authentication technology. The partnership offers the first-to-market certificate chain validation for passports, including country-specific policy controls.

Acuant CHIP performs a comprehensive series of authentication tests such as, Basic Access Control (BAC) to cryptographically access the chip contents; Active Authentication, to confirm the authenticity of the chip (and that it has not been cloned); Data Group Hash Authentication, to confirm that data group files have not been modified; and Document Signer Authentication, to confirm the authenticity of the Data Group hashes. Ozone® then performs the cryptographic validation of the Document Signer against its trusted Country Signer Directory to confirm that it is a valid signer, that has not been revoked by the country, and that it is in compliance with country-specific policy enforcement controls. The outcome of the Ozone® processing either confirms the authenticity of the presented document or identifies it as untrusted (and possibly fraudulent).

Mount Airey Group, Inc., which supports government and commercial entities globally, has worked with Acuant to integrate its Ozone e-Passport Authentication technology, which collects all relevant PKI data for each country and validates any electronic passport for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards, with the market leading AssureID product. The integrated offering validates a passport’s certificate chain to confirm that the document was electronically signed and issued by the originating country, and as such, can be trusted as an authentic identity document.

“Teaming with Mount Airey Group creates a gold standard for authentication for any use, be it by government or in the commercial sector,” said Steve Maloney, Executive Vice President of Business Development and Strategy of Acuant.

The e-Passport solution is designed to handle a host of issues unique to passports with individualized policies for every country, and complies with all ISO and ICAO standards for e-Passports.

“We are excited to partner with Acuant to create a new standard in chip certification and document authentication that will make it extremely difficult for someone to counterfeit a passport and unlawfully pass through border and airport security processes,” said Paul Townsend, Director of Cybersecurity at Mount Airey Group, Inc. “Together, we’ve introduced the most comprehensive solution on the market that leverages the latest identity verification and authentication technologies.”

About Mount Airey Group, Inc.

Mount Airey Group, Inc. (MAG) is an advanced technology services company that focuses on enterprise architecture, information security, identity management, secure authorizations, and security related business processes in order to provide solutions that meet the complex information security and technology needs of its customers. Over the past decade, MAG has designed and implemented high availability enterprise infrastructures, pioneered innovative identity and access management solutions, and provided policy and procedural guidance for government agencies and international standards bodies in order to help foster adoption of leading edge technology solutions. This focus has led to the design, development, and deployment of its Ozone® Solution Suite in support of enterprise-scale identity and access management (IDAM) solutions, including ePassport analysis and validation capabilities, and atomic authorization capabilities incorporated within cloud and mobility solutions. MAG actively engages with several international standards bodies including IETF and ISO/ANSI, and is a direct participant in the ICAO-supporting working groups developing the requirements and standards for machine readable documents.

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About Acuant

Acuant Inc. is a global technology company that provides comprehensive Identity Verification solutions responding to various levels of risk and assurance requirements. Utilizing patented technology Acuant transforms data intake into a business-enhancing proposition while instantly reducing the risk of fraudulent transactions.

Acuant’s intelligent engineering is made to work in any industry in any environment with compatibility for Windows, iOS, Android, Hybrid and HTML 5- and built to allow meeting the highest level security requirements and regulations such as KYC, PII, HIPAA and AML. Partners include start-ups, Fortune 500 and FTSE 350 organizations.

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