Increased Card Security

Brazil’s Central Bank adopts additional security measures

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 controlled points.

“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 single-card solution.

The card’s credentials are programmed with a unique identification number, which is tracked during the entire production process in order to prevent duplications.

System Satisfaction

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 identification credential.

“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 environments.”

HID are sent to an outside company that personalizes them with the data of each user.

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 future.

“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.

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