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Computer security is the next frontier for campus card programs

In this issue of CR80News, we examine the use of ID cards to help secure an area of our campus that is coming under increasing attack–our computers, networks, and data.

The term frequently used for this area of protection is logical security. It is the virtual equivalent to physical security, the protection of assets and facilities. And just as physical security has become a cornerstone of ID card programs in the past decade, logical security is destined to be the driving application for the future.

Card programs administrators will, more and more, be interacting with the campus IT departments. And concepts and functions such as secured logon, single sign-on, and public key infrastructures will become part of our lexicon.

Very likely, this is already beginning on your campus. Committees are forming at institutions across the country to explore issues including research data protection, document encryption, public PC and network protection, and digital rights management. The problem is card programs are often overlooked in this process. On too many campuses, the card system is seen as a second-tier technology–a tool for food service management and vending payments.

Card programs and card program vendors must raise the level of involvement in and development of these applications–or the “one card” ideal may again be lost … as campus IT departments bypass the card program and issue their own tokens for mission-critical data protection applications.

Chris Corum
Editor
[email protected]

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