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IDeas Article #1: Does my organisation need an ID card at all?

01 September 2017

ID Card

Do you even need an ID card program and what benefits will one offer to the organisation?  

Understanding your objectives is the most important step.  Logically, you will have to know what success looks like before time and money are expended.

Sometimes there is no choice. You might work in a field where carriage and display of identification is mandated by government or by contractual obligation.  Often though, you’re advised to use ID cards by an internal security officer or a consultant - or maybe you just think it is a good idea.  

Whatever the motivation, ask yourself these two simple questions:

  • What threat are you planning to mitigate?
  • How will the use of an ID card reduce the threat?

Maybe the purpose of the card is marketing related: "You can trust our people, look, they even have ID cards!

Even in this case, however, please consider the threats because, at the very least, you want to make sure that the use of an ID card is not going to reduce security.  

Take this example: 

XYZ Transport has an ID card for its drivers.  The perceived threat is not high compared to other industries so they use a simple card produced by a cheap desktop card printer and software supplied at no extra charge. Can you see where I’m going with this?  If XYZ drivers have simple ID cards then anyone with access to a simple ID card printer can replicate the card and pose as one of their drivers.  “Hi” – driver shows the counterfeit card – “I know I’m a bit early.  What have you got for me to collect today?”  In the case of XYZ Transport, the use of an ID card is not such a bad idea per se but they could and should use some relatively inexpensive tools to develop barriers to fraud.  

In another article in this series we will consider forgery and counterfeiting in detail but, for the moment, please consider them as a ‘self-imposed threat’.  

When considering the threats that affect your organisation, take advice from an expert in the field to ensure you understand the factors regarding identification of your people, whether ID cards are needed and how to best proceed. Without these steps you might just be wasting resources.

Next time on IDeas: One I prepared earlier – should you print your own cards or have them made?

To learn more or discuss the needs of your particular application, contact our consultants today. 


Sam TurnerAUTHOR

‚ÄčArea Manager for Peacock Bros.

Sam specialises in all aspects of cards and thermal printing. His customers rely on his skills and knowledge from over 20 years in the card industry to help with membership cards and corporate ID through to highly secure government ID programs.



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