Increased Card Security
Brazil’s Central Bank adopts additional security measures
- By Eric Widlitz
- Aug 01, 2012
Protecting the physical integrity of personal and corporate information
is an important task for Banco do Nordeste do Brazil (BNB),
which goes above and beyond the security rules established by the
Central Bank of Brazil to adopt additional security measures.
As a state financial entity that acts as a catalyzing agent for sustainable
and economic development for the Northeast Region of Brazil—while
offering banking services to the public in general—the institution has innumerable
reasons to resort to technology for the purpose of protecting itself from threats
encountered by any bank, anywhere.
At the end of 2008, BNB decided to reinforce the control system for physical
access for its administrative offices in Fortaleza, Ceará. After an evaluation
of a number of security devices and a rigorous selection process, the bank commissioned
Brazilian integrator Interactive Tecnologia Ltda. and chose contactless
smartcard solutions from HID Global.
“Our corporate security policy is based on three pillars: trustworthiness,
integrity and availability. And during our market research, we found that HID is
praised for these principles,” said José Boileau, executive manager of Corporate
Security at BNB.
Secure by Technology
BNB found that HID’s iCLASS contactless smartcards and readers provided
the high-level security and technology needed to form the ideal platform for
controlling access to strategic points of the administrative offices with its Fortaleza
headquarters. The legal and finance departments, the DPC and the security
room had priority in the first stage of the project for a total of more than 50
“Banco do Nordeste has a qualified security team with a differentiated and
well-directed vision to take advantage of technological innovations, and this explains
why its stakeholders chose contactless smartcards and readers,” said Marcelo
Antunes, of Interactive Tecnologia.
Considering the specific necessities
of the bank, the integrator suggested
the use of HID iCLASS R10, iCLASS
RWK400 keypad readers and the
iCLASS RWKLB575 biometric reader
to meet the levels of security required
in each area.
These devices, in conjunction with
the 2-KB smartcards and software from
the Brazilian manufacturer Commbox
Tecnologia, replaced the old proximity
system—which did not have autonomous
functioning—and the software
for access control, which was integrated
into the pre-dial automation system.
Additionally, with the objective of
raising the level of security, BNB decided
to take advantage of the benefits
offered by HID Global’s Corporate
1000 Program, which gives organizations
the ability to standardize on a
The card’s credentials are programmed
with a unique identification
number, which is tracked during the
entire production process in order to
Almost two years after the implementation
of the project, Boileau said he felt
completely satisfied with the system.
“There have been no installation or
availability problems recorded, and we
have not had problems with the performance
of the products. It is a robust
solution,” he said.
Boileau also emphasized that the
cards are used throughout the institution,
both as a part of the electronic
access control system to controlled environments
and as employees’ photo
“Previously, it was not possible to
generate access reports since we did not
have the precise information on who
entered each area,” Boileau said. “Now
we can analyze in detail access to various
HID are sent to an outside company
that personalizes them with the data of
In the coming months, the bank will
issue new credentials because it has
changed its visual identity.
The transparency during the system
implementation and the results related
to the security discipline motivated
Boileau and his team to speak of the
“Now we have a reference point to
implement a centralized system of access
control in approximately 200 banking
agencies across 13 states and in the
federal district,” Boileau said.
With the 2014 World Cup on the
horizon, BNB will face a new challenge,
given its physical proximity to
the platform of the games in Fortaleza.
To accommodate the anticipated
higher traffic, the bank will install new
gates and automatic turnstiles at all of
its entrance points—a step forward in
security for which, according to Boileau,
HID and Commbox’s solutions
will be essential.
This article originally appeared in the August 2012 issue of Security Today.
Eric Widlitz is Vice President of North America Sales for Vanderbilt.