Government PIVs : A Piece of the Security Puzzle

Government PIVs : A Piece of the Security Puzzle

                If you work in a government office or are a government contractor then chances are you have some form of government identification. That would be called a Government Personnel Identification Verification Card (PIV). For government workers and contractors, this smart card is an important piece of equipment. The PIVs are part of the Federal Information Processing Standard Publication 201 (FIPS 201) which is U.S. Federal government standard that specifies PIV requirements for federal employees and contractors. It also grew out of Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12; which in 2004 originally called for a standardization of identification for government employees and contractors.

Having a PIV will give you access to government/sensitive information and the equipment that monitors, contains and destroys of that information. It is meant to prevent the unauthorized access of government buildings and computer systems.

What is a PIV? A PIV is a card system implemented to store and collect biographic and biometric information which includes; full name, social security number, applicant ID number, date of birth, current address, a digital color photograph, fingerprints (10), biometric template (two fingerprints), organization, employee affiliation, work e-mail address, work telephone number, office address, copies of identity source document, employee status, military status, foreign national status, federal emergency response official status, law enforcement official status, results of background check, government agency code and PIV card issuance location.

All of this information is collected and combined with a Personal Identification Number (PIN), expiration date, card serial number, issuer identification number and a Contact Integrated Circuit Chip (ICC)/contactless ICC. There is also PIV authentication key, PIV registrar approval and a cardholder unique identifier which is used to authenticate the cardholder to host computer systems.

Why is all this information collected? This information allows the Department of Justice (DOJ) the ability to conduct background investigations and other national security checks for government employees and contractors. It also completes the identity proofing and registration process and creates a data record in the PIV Identity Management System (IDMS). The final result will be the issuing of a PIV card.

The privacy issues of each individual are also addressed. The risk of data compromise is addressed by physical, administrative and technical security measures. All information is on a need to know basis and all individuals with access have undergone vetting processes and have been trained to protect privacy data. Employee/contractor data is also protected in the physical sense with locked doors and storage containers and hosting facility buildings have security guards and secured doors and all entrances are monitored by surveillance equipment. Picture ID badges are required for access to the data and facilities. Technically, the data is encrypted when in transit and secured networks and servers are used.

A complete copy of the PIV standard and all its information can be found here.

All right, they have all this personal information and they secure it safely. Good news but what happens when the data is updated, revised or discarded? Computer files are easily changed and updated but paper copies that contain now incorrect information can’t just be tossed in the dumpster out back. They need to be shredded before disposal. That is where K.L. Security and our division of Dahle Paper Shredders come in.

Like with many other products, the government demands a higher standard for shredders that are used to destroy sensitive information. Our NSA/CSS 02-01 High Security Paper Shredders meet the current standard for the destruction of top secret COMSEC documents and materials and our products can be found on the NSA/CSS Evaluated Products List (EPL) for high security crosscut paper shredders; being on this list means that our products have been evaluated by the NSA or its designee and they meet the requirements of NSA/CSS 02-01.

One of our products on this list is the 20394 High Security Paper Shredder; it has a 16” feed opening and is driven by a powerful 2 hp motor. The solid steel frame houses and aligns two perfectly matched cutting cylinders that are milled from a single bar of German Solingen steel. The design maximizes durability and minimizes flexing to produce a consistently 1mm x 4.7mm particle size. It is also housed in a wooden cabinet with casters, making it easy to move and position in different places of operation.

The 20434 NSA-CSS 02-01 High Security Shredder has a lot of great features. It is designed to be used in a small office setting or by a team of employees for the destruction of top secret documents. Among the features are electronic sensors that turn the shredder on when you’re ready to use it and shut it off when the shred compartment is full or open. The matching pair of solid steel cutting cylinders is capable of reducing a single sheet of paper into over 15,500 particles. While the particles are reduced to such a small size that they’re impossible to reassemble, we still recommend that you stir the shredded paper to protect security and mitigate risk.

We want this article to serve two purposes. First off, if you are a government employee/contractor, we want you to be fully aware of how and what government security precautions and standards affect you. Second, we want to tell you about our NSA/CSS/GSA approved products that would be perfect for use in your government office. Information is digitalized across the boards nowadays but paper copies remain or can be produced. You must be prepared to shred documents when the need arises, use the right shredder.

Paper and the Future of Data Security

The paper on your desk isn’t going away. The forms you need to fill out or have clients/customers fill out aren’t going away. Even as we live in the age of e-mail, online payments and transferring documents via zip/flash drives. We still need paper and we still need to address the security concerns that surround that paper. Those forms, receipts, order-sheets and statements have valuable information on them and remember; even its old and out of date, it can still be valuable to someone else. Someone who doesn’t have your best interests in heart; thieves pluck those documents out the trash and use the information on them to steal from you or your customers. It’s your responsibility to see that all that paper is disposed of in a safe and secure manner. That means you need a paper shredder.

What is the status of paper in today’s business world?

Paper consumption has risen 400% since 1970. The flip-side to that is that in the last ten years (2000-2010) paper production has declined on average of 1% per year. There are a lot of reasons for that double-sided statistic.  People print double-sided documents, screen technology is easier on the eyes, paperless storage technology is on the rise and email became vastly more popular and efficient then faxes and mailed correspondences. There are less pleasant reasons as well; such as white collar unemployment and companies printing less brochures and catalogs.

Despite the technological advancements of the last forty years, paper remains a constant in offices. You use for virtually everything; checks, stationary, envelopes, business reports/documents, printers, fax machines, advertisements, coupons, personal care products such as paper towels, toilet paper and issues. You would be hard-pressed to find an office that doesn’t have most if not all of those items. The world at large is still hungry for paper as well.  In 2010, over 300 million metric tons of paper products were used and sold worldwide. Of that total, over 68 million metric tons were used in the United States; we consume the most out of every country. In fact, the average US office worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper each year and the average US consumer uses 749 lbs of paper products each year.

The main reason you need a shredder for the masses of paper that run through your office each year is security-oriented. Thieves will fish paper out of the trash for numbers for bank accounts, social security and credit cards, the main ingredients for identity theft; of which, there 15 million victims in 2010, which is 10% higher than the year before; corporate espionage is a constant threat as well. It accounted for $15 billion in 2010 and with a growth rate of 15%, the FBI declared it the fastest growing crime in the United States; Despite the various pieces of federal legislation enacted to protect clients and consumers; 1996 – HIPAA, 2002 – Sarbanes-Oxley, 2003 – FACTA and PCI-DSS in 2004.

People need shredders and they’re developing a taste and sense for good ones. What do people look for in a shredder nowadays? Increased waste volume for fewer bag changes, increased sheet capacity, the ability to shred other media and 12” feed width and machines that require no or minimal maintenance.  Add that to the fact that sales for strip cut shredders are declining and wide format (14 7/8”) printing is dead and you start to get a better picture. Another question you should consider when looking at shredding options is on-site vs. off-site shredding.

There are also environmental and safety concerns to be considered. UL has shifted from the 1950 to the 60950 standard and the EPA warns to careful about indoor air pollution, such as the paper dust caused by shredders. People want energy efficiency and to join the trend of “going green”.

For customers who would like all these concerns met and considered, Dahle Professional Shredders offers their CleanTEC line of shredders. They offer increased waste capacities in all ranges, increased sheet capacities and safe technology such as; verbal and contact emergency stop features and proximity sensors. The CleanTEC line also has electronic sensing protection (ESP) and a sheet capacity sensor which prevents overfeeding. The CleanTEC technology removes 98% of the fine dust generated by shredding and its SmartPower multi-stage power management system saves energy. The even flow lubrication ensures that the machine is oiled when and where it’s needed and it is quiet. All machines are made to run in the high 40s to low 50s db rating which should be acceptable in any work environment.

K.L. Security recognizes that secure and efficient shredders are an important part of office security; which is why we offer security and commercial shredders from Dahle. They are a company we believe in and their CleanTEC models can serve well in your office or home.

Dahle CleanTEC Shredders are now NSA/CSS 02-01 Approved

This just in!!

The Cryptographic & Security Services Division of the National Security Agency (NSA) completed its evaluation of the Dahle North America, Inc., 41334 and 41434 crosscut shredders against the requirements in NSA/CSS Specification 02-01.

According to the release letter, “Dahle Model Numbers 41334, 40334, 41434 and 40434 will be added to the next release of the EPL for High Security Crosscut Shredders. These shredders will remain on the EPL under the condition that they will not undergo any design modifications that would alter the ability to destroy paper against the requirements ofNSA/CSS Specification 02-01. The capacity of the Dahle 41334 and 40334 will be listed at 7 reams of paper per hour at 3 sheets per pass, with a 10.25 inch feed opening. The capacity ofthe Dahle 41434 and 40434 will be listed at 11 reams of paper per hour at 5 sheets per pass, with a 10.25 inch feed opening.”


With the addition of these high security paper shredders, we are able to offer our customers more choice for their document destruction needs.