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GCN : January 2015
There are no shortage of devices and technologies to keep government in- formation and communications secure. From the use of strong, frequently changed passwords and two-factor authentication to biometrics, agencies have a suite of options to protect their users’ data. And with the wakeup call from the Sony hack, people inside and outside of government are taking a harder look at extra protection for their personal information from the devices they carry to the clothes on their backs. To answer the demand, vendors are ready with security solutions ranging from stylish privacy accessories to secure wearables and communications ecosystems. In a collection at Macy’s, Royce Leather is offering a selection of ac- cessories that integrates fingerprint technology, RFID blocking and GPS into its handbags, briefcases and wallets “to protect users most private possessions, said CEO Andrew Royce Bauer. The Freedom Briefcase, which fea- tures “a slim, sleek silhouette, hand- milled hardware and Italian Saffiano leather,” uses what Royce calls “DNA- based fingerprint technology” to allow only a single user to access the bag. The bag also uses RFID-blocking technology to thwart electronic iden- tity theft, as do the company’s wallets, money clips and passport jackets. Privacy is further enhanced by block- ing scanning devices that can read and store personal information from com- mon contactless smart cards. A conductive layer provides a secure barrier that limits the flow of RF energy between the reader and the smart card or other RFID device. Royce also offers GPS tracking for those who can never find their wal- lets. A slim tracker inside the wallet uses a Bluetooth connection to iOS and Android devices within 100 feet of the wallet. “The greatest gift the Royce Leather Freedom Wallet offers is the security of not losing what you already have,” Bauer said. Wait there’s more: the iWallet not the iOS app, but a metal wallet case that protects an owner’s cash and credit cards with “space-age materials and biometric security.” • Privacy wearables for the secure – and stylish GCN JANUARY 2015 • GCN.COM 15 While many states and federal agen- cies have innovation offices to help transform the way government delivers services, North Carolina’s Innovation Center (iCenter) operates a working laboratory where state agencies, educa- tional institutions, private industry and citizens can perform technical evalua- tions, conference room pilots, prototype testing and proofs-of-concept. The “try before you buy” working lab has tested more than $6 million worth of technology at no cost to the state, allowing agencies to make better- informed decisions about how to invest their technology dollars. The iCenter has also led to savings of approxi- mately $1.4 million a year in storage costs and $7 million in renegotiated IT contracts. Launched in October 2013, iCenter is now collaborating with states nation- wide, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory recently announced. About 25 states are part of the effort and they will meet monthly to share best practices and challenges, said Erik Ross, the state’s chief digital officer and director of iCenter. “We look forward to sharing our expe- riences and learning from other states as we all work to improve the service we offer our citizens,” McCrory said in a statement. Before iCenter began reaching out to other states, it spent about a year perfecting its operations, including how to do testing, how to work with vendors and university students and how to engage with citizens. The center was borne from state Chief Information Officer Chris Estes’ assessment of the state’s existing tech- nology and a need to update much of it. A state auditor’s report that 84 proj- ects prior to 2013 were 389 days behind schedule and $356 million over budget also spurred iCenter’s creation. The center works like this: CIOs from North Carolina’s cabinet-level agencies meet weekly to discuss pain points and areas of opportunity – operating es- sentially as a board for the center. They N.C.’s iCenter leads multistate technology testing lab BY STEPHANIE KANOWITZ 0115gcn_006-016.indd 15 1/13/15 12:14 PM
November and December 2014