person watching plane take off

PIAM: The Role of Identity and Access Management in Airport Security

Between the sheer volume of passengers and coinciding data that flow through airport (both large and small) on a daily basis, it stands to reason why identity and access management is an ongoing challenge for airport security and leadership. After all, without a modern PIAM approach to integrate physical access with real-time identity management, the ability to accurately track the multitude of people, badges and devices is an unrealistic airport security objective to achieve. From a security standpoint, without centralized PIAM, it becomes infinitely easier for someone to exploit a manual process weakness and gain unauthorized access to a secured area.

PIAM – The Roles Break Down

Physical identity and access management, also referred to as PIAM, is a technology that is proven to unify and automate identity management, integrating various disparate physical security systems, simplifying employee control and securing other identities throughout the airport. The result? Airports have the ability to manage the full lifecycle of identities relating to physical access, ultimately spearheading the dual challenge of identity verification and access control through centralization and rule-based conformance

Key benefits of PIAM include:

  • Centrally managing physical identities
  • Integrating separate systems
  • Supporting effective, invulnerable airport scaling
  • Transforming and automating manual workflows and processes
  • Enforcing specific requirements related to TSA compliance and FAA regulations
  • Streamlining time-consuming/inefficient processes like issuing ID badges, database management, new employee additions, changing work assignments and assigning access privileges throughout numerous physical access control systems

Generally, the fundamentals of managing identities and attributes of identities are airport-wide, ranging from HR to IT, among other areas. The purpose of PIAM is to connect those various identity systems in order to keep them synchronized, while reducing both cost and airport security risks. Keep in mind that the more complications that exist in a given system, the harder it is to monitor, understand and respond to things like anomalous incidents. This is where PIAM software solutions come into play for airport identity and access management, as it can quickly simplify processes, boost overall pipeline efficiency, lower cost, meet regulatory requirements and accentuate a higher level of airport security and interconnection.

Optimizing Identity and Access Management With HID SAFE™ Enterprise

Established on the foundations of innovation and centralization, HID is a renowned organization respected for supporting millions of people across 100+ countries unify their systems through PIAM software solutions. Featuring a single, centralized platform called HID SAFE Enterprise, this identity and access management resource is key to full system connection and standardization. All in all, standardization reduces complexity, which becomes the catalyst for greater control, better information, lower costs, fewer risks/errors, increased scalability and faster response times across airport pipelines. Also because it offers a COTS solution that tailors prices based on airport volume, HID SAFE Enterprise makes it easier and more affordable for airports of all sizes to increase their operational efficiencies.

In summary, creating and securing identity access is simply not enough to protect an organization. With HID SAFE Enterprise, process managers throughout HR, IT, facilities, reception and contractor administration attain the ability to effectively manage all identity types, whether that be employees, contractors or visitors. Overall, PIAM for airport security is a fundamental, centralized avenue to intertwine access management, identity, compliance and risk assessment into a single software environment — one that is proven to not just enhance airport streamlining of people and processes, but also ultimately create a safer, more secure and all-around successful airport experience for everyone.

Matthew Lewis is the Director of Product Marketing for HID Global helping drive the go to market for the Workforce business unit within the Identity and Access Management Solutions business area. He has led product marketing organizations for five years with experience in both vertical and horizontal global markets. Prior to joining HID, he spent time at a global software provider in the energy sector, in the collaboration and communication software space, and marketing cybersecurity products at Entrust.