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Virtual machine images and snapshots provide a means to quickly deploy or restore virtual systems across
multiple hosts within a short period of time. In a security operations center, virtual machines can be brought
online and offline as quickly as required.
Hardware virtualization is accomplished through hardware partitioning or hypervisor technology. The
hypervisor is the software or firmware responsible for hosting and managing virtual machines and mediates
all hardware access for the VMs running on the physical platform. A Virtual Machine (VM) is a self-
contained operating environment that behaves like a separate computer. It is also known as the "guest". The
supervisor can partition the system’s resources and isolate the guest operating systems (OS) so that each
has access to only its own resources.
The recent increase in the use of virtualization products and services in security applications is driven by
the benefits outlined above.
Virtualization also allows changes to be made to an OS and subsequently revert back to eliminate changes
that negatively affect security, for testing new services.
Mobile Devices as PACS Credentials
In this era of ubiquitous, intelligent mobile devices that are enabled with various options for near and long-
range, wireless communications, it is only natural that they be considered for use in airport security physical
access control. Android, iOS, and Windows smart phones are prime examples of feature-packed mobile
devices that contain all of the functional elements needed to support strong authentication, and integration
with physical access control systems. These “smart” mobile devices could easily replace familiar access
control credential form factors such as smartcards, key cards, RFID tags, and fobs.
Almost everyone has a smart phone that is either personally owned, or is issued to them by an organization
with which they are an employee or a contractor. These devices are kept almost constantly close at hand,
and are rarely used by anyone other than the owner or issuee. As such, organizations have a pre-existing
platform base that could be readily exploited for hosting soft credentials that could form the basis for
authentication for physical access. There would no longer be a need to purchase, issue, and manage
dedicated smart cards or tags for specific physical access control implementations.
In the past few years several companies have introduced mobile-device reader technologies that have
enabled the use of mobile devices for access to restricted areas. With these readers and mobile-device
applications, airport personnel may leverage their personal or company-provided smartphones as a
credential for access to airport buildings, rooms, offices, depots, services areas, tarmacs, gated driveways,
and parking garages. As a person approaches a reader located at the entrance to a controlled area, he/she
may simply hold the phone up to or tap a reader, as one would a legacy access card, and if authorized, gain
entry. Other scenarios may require multi-factor authentication such that a PIN must be entered (either on a
pin pad mounted on the wall near the access point or on the phone screen); or a fingerprint image must be
captured (either on a biometric reader mounted near the access point or on a fingerprint reader on the phone)
It is important to note that use of mobile devices for physical access would not be intended to replace current
policies requiring airport personnel to wear a visible ID badge, nor to require the replacement all existing
badges. The technology allow both types of badge to coexist.
ID badges are still required to meet the “Challenge requirements” in controlled areas.
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