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HID Global “one card” student ID solution secures George Mason University

Published on 18 May, 2016
George Mason’s campus has more than 30,000 students with nearly 5,000 facility members and 2,000 contractors who all require a Mason ID card to access facilities, resources and services
HID Global's comprehensive “one card” solution enabled the university to migrate their existing card system

HID Global®, a worldwide leader in secure identity solutions, recently announced that offerings from its broad portfolio have been chosen by George Mason University to upgrade its Mason ID card to a more secure and flexible, student ID system.

Single ID for multiple applications and services

HID Global Seos® smart cards,  multiCLASS SE® readers and FARGO® secure ID card issuance solutions, coupled with locks from its parent company ASSA ABLOY, provide the university with a strategic migration path from legacy magnetic stripe (magstripe) cards to new contactless technology that offers best-in-class security and privacy protection for its campus, students and staff. The new Mason ID card enables the university to meet the growing demands of its campus by providing a single ID that can be used to securely connect users with multiple applications, services and departments.

 “We needed a more secure and flexible system that we could roll out incrementally as our budget permitted, while still supporting our legacy infrastructure and technology,” said Danny Anthes, Senior Manager of Information Technology with George Mason University. “The new ID solution has provided our students and faculty a safer campus and a better card experience. I think Seos goes beyond just door access; it allows us to manage the credentials better and put the destiny of the department back into their own hands.”

Upgrading from magstripe ID technology

As the commonwealth of Virginia’s largest public university, George Mason’s campus has more than 30,000 students with nearly 5,000 facility members and 2,000 contractors who all require a Mason ID card to access facilities, resources and services.

Powered by Seos® credential
technology, the new Mason ID
cards are being used for
accessing facilities and
residence halls, as well as
library and cafeteria services

For nearly a decade, the university has issued magstripe ID cards that rely on older security technology which lacked the cryptographic capabilities of smart cards, making them susceptible to cloning and counterfeiting. Additionally, these cards wore out quickly and cost the university time and money to replace.

University administrators knew they needed something more secure. With their limited budget, a multi-year technology migration was needed to deploy the new ID card system that includes:

  • HID Global multiCLASS SE readers as well as ASSA ABLOY SARGENT Passport® locks with embedded iCLASS SE® technology, and PERSONA® Campus Software. Chosen for their built-in encryption that offered enhanced security, the new readers and locks allow the university to use both legacy magstripe and new contactless cards simultaneously, thereby enabling a smooth technology migration over a longer period of time.
  • Seos smart cards from HID Global offer advanced security and interoperability between the new locks and readers, while enabling multiple applications. The university deployed HID Global OMNIKEY® desktop readers to extend the value of the Seos card by connecting it to multiple services such as library check-out and cashless payment for meals in the cafeteria.
  • HID Global FARGO DTC4500e ID card printers and encoders and Asure ID® card personalisation software were installed at the campus card office. The new Mason ID cards are personalised by printing student information to the card while also encoding and programming each card in a single, inline issuance process. Issuance time has been drastically reduced, data entry mistakes have been eliminated and the new, high quality ID cards are now printed with more durable lamination.

“George Mason has leveraged the power and flexibility of HID Global’s secure identity solutions to take the user experience to a brand new level by confidently connecting students to more applications and services than ever before,” said Brett St. Pierre, Director of Education Solutions with HID Global. “Our breakthrough Seos credential technology is also paving the way for George Mason to enable smartphones to carry Mason IDs in the future, providing even greater choice and convenience for students seeking to use their phone as an all-in-one device that is always on them.”

George Mason University has installed approximately 3,500 HID Global readers and ASSA ABLOY locks, and has issued more than 12,000 new Mason ID cards to incoming freshmen to date. The university expects to complete its card migration by 2017.

Read the full case study here.

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