Chartered by the Spanish Ministry of Public Works, the Colegio de Ingenieros de Caminos, Canales, y Puertos (CICCP) is the official civil engineering organi­sation of certified engineers working throughout Spain.

With over 20,000 affiliated engineers, CICCP members are responsible for planning, designing, reviewing building, and approving the public works plans and specifications for Spain’s public infrastructure. In keeping with its mission of ensuring safe and secure transportation, communications, energy, and port construction, CICCP chose HID Global as a key partner for securing the foundation of their smart card-based ID card and business process improvement project.

Electronic public works approval process

CICCP needed to provide its member engineers with an efficient and secure digital signature solution to expedite the approval process for public works projects throughout the 19 provinces of Spain – covering more than 20 million plan reviews per year.

The previous system of paper-based plan review cycles and signing of physical blueprints had proven to be cumbersome and time-consuming. In addition, document management and archiving of hardcopy records required massive amounts of space to store over 25 years of historic project plans. A nine-kilometre railway project would, for example, on average require storage of five large archiving boxes.

Digital identity technology

These challenges presented an opportunity to leverage the latest digital identity technology advances to expedite a core business function. With recent government recognition of digital certificates and PKI solutions as legally binding signatures, CICCP decided to invest in smart card-based digital signature solutions to reduce cost, improve the work experience of their members and to provide more responsive service for the Spanish population.

CICCP needed to provide its member engineers with an efficient and secure digital signature solution

The decision to move to the combination of smart cards, PDF image capture, and electronic archiving of plans enabled a dramatic reduction in time and resource expenditure. In fact, CICCP anticipates that its initial technology investment of $1.2 million will result in a savings of over $90 million over a one-year period.

Signed PDF capability

Consider, for example, a bridge project that in the past would have required 12 copies of blueprints at an average cost of $10,000 each. All 8,000 pages of that plan required a separate signature and physical stamp from the CICCP-certified engineer.

With HID Global’s smart card client software solution and the U-Sign PDF signing solution developed by HID Global’s channel partner, ipsCA, the approval process is documented via an x.509 standard digital signature which is embedded with PDF documents condensed into a two-gigabyte file on CD or DVD. As a result of this Adobe integration, the Acrobat file can be signed more than once by the multiple parties involved in the sign-off process to reflect status at each step in the plan review. Each signature is associated with a specific version of the document that represents the state of the plan when signed by that respective person.

By storing the private key within the secure cryptographic environment of the smart card chip, the organisation gains the three benefits of HID Global’s ActivClient of increased security, since the user’s private keys for digital signature are stored on the smart card; non-repudiation for legal approval and validity; as well as mobility of the digital signature credentials in the form factor of the smart card.

With HID Global's smart card client software solution, the blueprint approval process is documented via digital signature

ipsCA integrated the solution for CICCP – including the PKI infrastructure based on Microsoft 2000 CA. They developed a digital signature plug-in “U-Sign PDF” based on certificate technology for Adobe Acrobat software, that interfaces transparently with HID Global’s ActivClient. The plug-in U-Sign PDF extends Adobe Acrobat digital signature capabilities with CRL, OCSP, VA validation and Time Stamping – making electronic documents legally valid and binding.

Smart card-based badge

For the full deployment stage, all 20,000 CICCP engineers will be issued a photo ID smart card that serves as their membership badge and stores their individual digital certificate private keys. The cardholder then installs HID Global’s ActivCient smart card middleware on his / her PC to handle the secure communication for the PKI transaction.

Emilio Marin, CTO, Colegio De Ingenieros De Caminos, Canales, y Puertos, said: “We’re a non-profit organisation with members dispersed across a large geographic area, and using a diversity of computing platforms. HID Global’s ActivClient was the only solution that would allow us to deploy a uniform smart card software and digital signature solution that works across the IT infrastructure of our 20,000 CICCP members – regardless of whether they do their work on Microsoft Windows, Mac OSX, Linux, or Sun Solaris. HID Global’s ease of installation and convenience enabled us to deploy quickly and efficiently to thousands of users.”

Share with LinkedIn Share with Twitter Share with Facebook Share with Facebook
Download PDF version

In case you missed it

What is the impact of lighting on video performance?
What is the impact of lighting on video performance?

Dark video images contain little or no information about the subject being surveilled. Absence of light can make it difficult to see a face, or to distinguish the color of clothing or of an automobile. Adding light to a scene is one solution, but there are also new technologies that empower modern video cameras to see better in any light. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: what impact does lighting have on the performance of video systems? adapts during pandemic to enable partners to ‘succeed remotely’ adapts during pandemic to enable partners to ‘succeed remotely’

As a cloud-based platform for service providers in the security, smart home and smart business markets, has adapted quickly to changing conditions during the coronavirus pandemic. In the recent dynamic environment, has kept focus on supporting their service provider partners so they can keep local communities protected. “We moved quickly to establish work-from-home protocols to protect our employees and minimise impact on our partners,” says Anne Ferguson, VP of Marketing at The Customer Operations and Reseller Education (CORE) team has operated without interruption to provide support to partners. Sales teams are utilising webinars and training resources to inform and educate partners about the latest products, tools, and solutions.’s partner tools are essential for remote installations and support of partner accounts. Helping customers remain connected Adapting to challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, is further investing in solutions that help customers remain connected and engaged. The company has created a resource hub called “Succeeding Remotely” that provides tools, tips and news links that partners can use to adapt their business operations. From adjusting sales and installation techniques to maintaining cellular upgrades, is helping partners stay connected to customers remotely, keep their teams trained, and address rapidly evolving customer concerns without rolling trucks.The company has created a resource hub called “Succeeding Remotely “Additionally, after seeing all that our partners are doing to support their local communities in need, we were compelled to highlight those efforts with ongoing videos called Good Connections, which we’re sharing with our partner community to spark more ideas and ways to help,” says Ferguson. “Though our partners have experienced varying degrees of disruption to their business, we’re inspired by their adaptability, ingenuity and resilience,” says Ferguson. “Along with establishing proper safeguards for operating in homes and businesses, our partners are leveraging our support resources more heavily, while our entire staff has worked tirelessly to deliver new, timely resources.” Do-It-Together solutions partners are successfully employing Do-It-Together (DIT) solutions, focusing on 3G-to-LTE upgrades, and pivoting to new verticals like commercial and wellness. Many are also streamlining their business operations and taking advantage of virtual training opportunities to enhance their technicians’ skills and knowledge, says Ferguson. Do-It-Together installs involve depending on customers to perform part or all of the installation process. Partners can send customers fully configured kits with mounting instructions, or technicians may guide customers on a remote video call.’s tools, training and products help partners modify remote installation options depending on each customer’s needs. End users can validate the Smart Gateway with their central station that sensors they have mounted were done correctly using the mobile app Smart Gateway For example, the Smart Gateway can be pre-configured with indoor and outdoor cameras for easy customer installation and to reduce the likelihood of future service calls. Also, end users can validate with their central station that sensors they have mounted were done correctly using the mobile app. “DIT is helping our partners continue onboarding customers and avoid backlogs,” says Ferguson. “We’ve been pleasantly surprised by the resiliency and level of future investment that our residential and commercial partners have shown in the face of adversity,” adds Ferguson. For example, a significant number of business customers have used the slow period to install systems that are typically too disruptive to put in during normal business hours. Similarly, service providers are adopting new technologies or business models, such as cloud-based access control. “They’re often saying to us, ‘I’m going to take this opportunity to make changes to improve our business,’ and have been working closely with us on training and business consulting to support their efforts,“ she says. Shift to the cloud Ferguson sees a growing preference for cloud-managed surveillance and access systems over ones that have historically been run on-premise. The technology itself is attractive, but especially driving change is the enhancement to the daily lives of service providers and customers, which have been strained during this time. “The foundational benefit of our cloud-based solution is the hassle-free, seamless customer experience it delivers,” says Ferguson. “We make this possible by taking ownership of the servers, software maintenance, firmware updates, health monitoring, and more. With cloud technology, these aspects become invisible to the customer and take a lot off their plate, which is more important than ever.” End users can take advantage of Smart Tip video tutorials to help with DIT installations, or they can use the Wellcam to connect with loved ones anywhere.End users can take advantage of Smart Tip video tutorials to help with DIT installations Partners can attend training workshops focused on remote installation tactics, while driving consumer interest in new offerings through’s Customer Connections platform. The goal is to make it simple for partners to stay connected to their customers to maximise lifetime account value. “We are well-positioned to endure the pandemic because of the strength of our partners in their markets along with our investments in technology, hardware and our team,” says Ferguson. “As restrictions slowly lift, there is cautious optimism that the residential, commercial, property management, plumbing/HVAC, builder and other verticals will recover quickly. We believe that as more partners adopt the DIT model and add commercial and wellness RMR, they will find increasing opportunities to deploy security, automation, video, video analytics, access and more throughout their customer base.”

COVID-19 worries boost prospects of touchless biometric systems
COVID-19 worries boost prospects of touchless biometric systems

Spread of the novel coronavirus has jolted awareness of hygiene as it relates to touching surfaces such as keypads. No longer in favour are contact-based modalities including use of personal identification numbers (PINs) and keypads, and the shift has been sudden and long-term. Both customers and manufacturers were taken by surprise by this aspect of the virus’s impact and are therefore scrambling for solutions. Immediate impact of the change includes suspension of time and attendance systems that are touch-based. Some two-factor authentication systems are being downgraded to RFID-only, abandoning the keypad and/or biometric components that contributed to higher security, but are now unacceptable because they involve touching. Touchless biometric systems in demand The trend has translated into a sharp decline in purchase of touch modality and a sharp increase in the demand for touchless systems, says Alex Zarrabi, President of Touchless Biometrics Systems (TBS). Biometrics solutions are being affected unequally, depending on whether they involve touch sensing, he says. Spread of the novel coronavirus has jolted awareness of hygiene as it relates to touching surfaces such as keypads “Users do not want to touch anything anymore,” says Zarrabi. “From our company’s experience, we see it as a huge catalyst for touchless suppliers. We have projects being accelerated for touchless demand and have closed a number of large contracts very fast. I’m sure it’s true for anyone who is supplying touchless solutions.” Biometric systems are also seeing the addition of thermal sensors to measure body temperature in addition to the other sensors driving the system. Fingerscans and hybrid face systems TBS offers 2D and 3D systems, including both fingerscans and hybrid face/iris systems to provide touchless identification at access control points. Contactless and hygienic, the 2D Eye system is a hybrid system that combines the convenience of facial technology with the higher security of iris recognition. The system recognises the face and then detects the iris from the face image and zeros in to scan the iris. The user experiences the system as any other face recognition system. The facial aspect quickens the process, and the iris scan heightens accuracy. TBS also offers the 2D Eye Thermo system that combines face, iris and temperature measurement using a thermal sensor module. TBS's 2D Eye Thermo system combines face, iris and temperature measurement using a thermal sensor module Another TBS system is a 3D Touchless Fingerscan system that provides accuracy and tolerance, anti-spoofing, and is resilient to water, oil, dust and dirt. The 2D+ Multispectral for fingerprints combines 2D sensing with “multispectral” subsurface identification, which is resilient to contaminants and can read fingerprints that are oily, wet, dry or damaged – or even through a latex glove. In addition, the 3D+ system by TBS provides frictionless, no-contact readings even for people going through the system in a queue. The system fills the market gap for consent-based true on-the-fly systems, says Zarrabi. The system captures properties of the hand and has applications in the COVID environment, he says. The higher accuracy and security ratings are suitable for critical infrastructure applications, and there is no contact; the system is fully hygienic. Integration with access control systems Integration of TBS biometrics with a variety of third-party access control systems is easy. A “middleware” subsystem is connected to the network. Readers are connected to the subsystem and also to the corporate access control system. An interface with the TBS subsystem coordinates with the access control system. For example, a thermal camera used as part of the biometric reader can override the green light of the access control system if a high temperature (suggesting COVID-19 infection, for example) is detected. The enrollment process is convenient and flexible and can occur at an enrollment station or at an administration desk. Remote enrollment can also be accomplished using images from a CCTV camera. All templates are encrypted. Remotely enrolled employees can have access to any location they need within minutes. The 3D+ system by TBS provides frictionless, no-contact readings even for people going through the system in a queue Although there are other touchless technologies available, they cannot effectively replace biometrics, says Zarrabi. For example, a centrally managed system that uses a Bluetooth signal from a smart phone could provide convenience, is “touchless,” and could suffice for some sites. However, the system only confirms the presence and “identity” of a smart phone – not the person who should be carrying it. “There has been a lot of curiosity about touchless, but this change is strong, and there is fear of a possible second wave of COVID-19 or a return in two or three years,” says Zarrabi. “We really are seeing customers seriously shifting to touchless.”