US Government Approves BlackBerry Smart Card Reader
Research in Motion announced Monday the approval of the BlackBerry Smart Card Reader. Achieving FIPS 140-2 certification level 3, the reader has been granted the highest certification of any wireless smart card reader on the market.
Smart cards are used by the US government to support security programs, such as the U.S. Department of Defence’s Common Access Card and the Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12, a program that calls for a “mandatory, government-wide standard for reliable forms of identification issued by the federal government to employees.” The National Institute of Standards and Technology assigns FIPS certifications.
“Our customers value the robust security provided with BlackBerry products and services and smart card readers are particularly important within the government sector,” said Scott Totzke, Senior Vice President, BlackBerry Security at Research In Motion. “This advanced certification of the BlackBerry Smart Card Reader for the U.S. Federal Government demonstrates our ongoing commitment to meet and exceed the expectations of our government customers.”
Used for technology authentication within the US government, the BlackBerry Smart Card Reader is designed to be worn on a lanyard, holding the smart card within the lightweight reader. This process becomes a two-factor authentication device so that government employees can securely access BlackBerry smartphones, desktop computers and facilities. Once a user leaves the proximity of a desktop or other technology, the device automatically locks.
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The FIPS 140-2 level 3 certification designates the BlackBerry Smart Card Reader as an advanced device with security features such as anti-tamper technology and self destruction of security parameters upon device breach.
This announcement from RIM is potentially light within the tunnel. Recently speculated to be headed toward a buyout, the US government’s approval can only mean good things.
Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking
“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.
We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.
Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate.
With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.
There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.
Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture.
It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.
Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.
On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.
As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.
A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.