There are a plethora of features and elements available for ID (identification) cards, and access control cards and credentials.
Security features implemented within a credential (ID or access card) can be divided into three levels of security: Level 1 or Overt; Level 2 or Covert; Level 3 or Forensic.
These three levels of security, in combination, provide the utmost comprehensive security for a credential, ensuring its validity, originality, accuracy, and authenticity.
Level 1 (Overt) security provides the lowest level of security.
Some overt security features may include ultra violet (UV) printing, watermarks, holograms, micro text, heat sensitive ink, optical variable ink, and other apparent elements. These may be applied within the credential material, or on its surface, during the manufacturing process and/or at the personalisation stage when using a card printer.
Overt features provide quick and easy visual verification of credential information, without using any special tools.
Printed personalised data is a part of this level of security, and is typically static.
Overt features alone are no longer secure, and if poorly implemented, can increase cases of identity theft, abuse and document forgery.
With the technology available today, such security features have become more easily altered or copied.
Level 2 (Covert) security improves upon any implemented Level 1 elements by embedding the same and/or additional information.
For example this can prevent intruders from gaining access to confidential information encoded within such technologies at this level which can include smart chips, magnetic strips, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), contactless chips or smart chips with embedded identity and biometric data. With the right tools, Level 2 features allow the capability to capture, register and authenticate document holders' identity information, such as biometric identities. The encoded data is limited by a chip's memory size and capability. A specialized access mechanism (readers and encoders) is required to obtain access to the relevant data source and write data onto the embedded medium.
Level 2 security technologies have also been breached by technological advancements and can no longer be considered as 100% secure. With today's technologies, identity documents and credentials can be easily tampered with, modified, stolen, and duplicated into another document, to be used for unauthorized access, and other illegal purposes.
Level 3 Security (Forensic) offers security and integrity of information from the surface, down to the infinitely complex and specialized Forensic level. Essentially, Level 3 will provide as many security levels as deemed necessary, by catering to visual inspection of documents, as well as Forensic checks on identity and security information not readily available unless accessed by special Forensic tools, and with the appropriate authorization. The ability to apply multiple sub-levels of security is made possible by the concept of centralized (as opposed to localized), and dynamic identity data management, by which centralized and forensic security controls can be applied on top of the localized and limited security applications onto a credential. Tampered and forged documents are exposed when centrally retrieved data of the True Identity reveals discrepancies, as well as any real-time updated information, such as current statuses of a person's identity profile.
Level 3 security is referred to as the highest security level technology for securing identities and associated credentials. This focuses around the protection of the one True Identity of an individual, and thereby automatically protecting the related documents (conversely, with Level 1 and 2 security, the focus is to protect credentials, to then be able to protect an identity. However once a document's security is breached, the identity it is meant to protect is also automatically compromised).
Contact Us to discuss in detail what technologies are best used for securing your organisation's credentials.