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The US DHS has approved a new technology for port security. idSoftware, an identification software company with offices in Jacksonville, Florida, has earned approval from the Department of Homeland Security for its SecureGate Ports identification software, a card reader and validation solution.

The software provides ports and port tenants with electronic security that can read and verify a worker’s credential, minimizing the chances of unauthorized personnel in secure areas.

According to the company’s website, the technology combines biometric identification with TWIC validation (Transportation Worker Identification Credential) that employees need to enter a secured area of a port, providing four distinct methods of authentication validating: an authentic TWIC card, the expiration date of the card, whether fingerprints of the card holder match the fingerprints encrypted on the card, and against the CCL.

The President and CEO of idSoftware, Jim Strey, said in an interview to bizjournals.com: “Before our technology, the TWIC card was seen as a ‘flash pass’. It was something that would be seen by a security guard from feet away with no real way of authenticating the card. The TWIC card now contains silos of information and certificates on the card that have to be challenged. The software also checks the expiration date so that we know the TWIC card is current and it also checks the card against a list the TSA produces every night of canceled cards.”

He was asked if unauthorized personnel gaining entrance into secure areas at ports has been an issue in the past. “Following the 9/11 attack, the US Congress enacted a law that stiffened who has access to the country’s ports. Before this electronic verification the process was as simple as showing up to a port and showing your card with no real verification. There were many instances before where people should not have been let on the port.”

He added that there are approximately 100 ports and terminal operations using SecureGate technology. The company has 44 ports and private operators using the system, with four being in the state of Florida.