From facing war crimes and drug trafficking to computer crime and weapons smuggling, the International Police Organization (INTERPOL) has its collective hands full. It’s an organization whose membership base spans 190 countries, and its officials are tasked with a lot of international travel. This isn’t the kind of travel that’s done at a leisurely pace, though.
With culprits around the world to catch, INTERPOL agents need to travel expediently to nab criminals who use fraud and coercion to cross national borders and evade detection. International crime, after all, doesn’t respect national borders — but INTERPOL officials have to. Yet as anyone who’s crossed a border knows, the process of crossing – with the wait to be vetted, and the high possibility of unanticipated delays – can quickly add up to a lot of lost time. How can INTERPOL officials do their jobs expediently if they’re slowed down at every country they enter?
The answer is that they can’t. For INTERPOL, expeditious border crossing is an absolute necessity. Otherwise, international criminals will always have a head start. In the fight against international crime, INTERPOL needed a border solution that wasn’t only expedient, but secure. That’s when they turned to Entrust.
Realizing the benefits of smartcards for INTERPOL
Working alongside INTERPOL then-Secretary General Ronald K. Noble and other security vendors, Entrust began developing a tech solution that would expedite agent travel while also maintaining a high safety standard. It was Entrust’s collaboration with Noble that helped pave the way for the advanced technology that ended up being deployed: multipurpose smartcard credentials. The smartcard technology was comprised of three elements – digital identity, smart chips and trust infrastructure. When all this was merged, it created a solution that became an INTERPOL standard.
Because they’re machine-readable and encoded with identity-verifying data, the smartcards developed for INTERPOL work to provide agents with a far more efficient means of getting through border checkpoints. And they’re not only efficient, but secure and compliant too – the solutions adhere to Basic Access Control (BAC) and Extended Access Control (EAC) standards. But that’s not where the benefits end.
In addition to serving as a border cross expediting tool, the smartcards are equipped to carry out other functions as well. Thanks to their design, INTERPOL users can also leverage these smartcards as authentication tools for accessing computers and networks, as well as for granting physical access (such as to INTERPOL officials-only buildings).
Setting a precedent for law enforcement
INTERPOL’s deployment of smartcards sets an important precedent for other law enforcement agencies. As then-Secretary General Noble said when the smartcards were first developed, the technology “should serve as the blueprint for identity-based security strategies across the globe.”
He added, “While this advancement was important to INTERPOL, it also will hopefully serve as a proven solution to solve even greater security challenges.”
These days, law enforcement officials at every level have to contend with criminals who are deploying increasingly advanced means of evasion. Far from just inhabiting the physical realm, law enforcement now encompasses the cybersphere as well. With those in policing gearing up to face a mobilizing threat atmosphere, they’ll need an identity-based solution that does not at all impede their progress.
By providing an identity-verifying asset that is still grounded in safety and security, smartcards offer law enforcement a solution that is simple in its design and far-reaching in its benefits. It is the perfect solution for a mobile world.