The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) created in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. TSA has authority over transportation security programs and are best known for their very visible role in America's airports. When the DHS passed new rules regarding unescorted access to port facilities, the TSA and the United States Coast Guard were also given the responsibility of enforcing compliance of the new program. Whether they enter by road or sea, all persons must present a valid Transportation Workers Identification Credential (TWIC). A TWIC card utilizes biometric technology for rapid identification and tracking.
The latest TWIC rules require that unescorted individuals use an electronic card reader for authentication and validation. In addition, vehicle operators must also have a fingerprint scan that is matched using a fingerprint database. idSoftware's SecureGate Ports was one of the first biometric identification systems TSA certified for the agency's Quality Technology List (QTL). At that time, idSoftware was one of only four companies producing technology to support the DHS's stricter port security regulations. To become TSA certified, the DHS had to approve three of idSoftware's testing labs. Combined with the VisCheck Ports system, have real-time knowledge of "Who, When and Where."
When it comes to tighter security, the biggest challenge for port security personnel is to maintain compliance while minimizing trade disruptions. At idSoftware, we took the challenge a step further to ensure our TSA certified systems do not negatively affect the port facility's workflow. Under the original DHS regulations, port facility guards were to visually check TWIC cards for hologram, photo ID and expiration date as well as ensure the card presented was not listed on the TSA's Canceled Card List (CCL). With idSoftware's comprehensive visitor management system, biometric identification is accomplished more quickly and the system keeps track of everyone on a facility, whether they have a TWIC card or not.