Hagåtña, Guam – In a partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Office of Technology (OTECH) and the Offices of Guam Homeland Security and Civil Defense (GHS/OCD) have begun the first phase of a pilot program, Personal Identity Verification-Interoperable (PIV-I), in an effort for PIV cards to become a common credential standard for the government of Guam. The capability will be two-pronged: allowing physical access for facilities, access to control rooms, etc., and logical access for any network the agencies operate. The program allows the territory to identify everyone within the government of Guam and provide certain privileges, so if there is a cyber event, it can be managed and properly researched.
“The FEMA program is in place to help all states, localities, tribes, and territories, on their “zero-trust” journey and will help Guam improve its digital identity for individuals, applications, organizations, and devices,” said Dr. Gregory Edwards, FEMA Chief Information Security Officer. “We are here to provide the initial capability by issuing equipment, cards, essentially a full kit, and from there the territory can take this and mature further and grow the program. This program ties directly into FEMA Administrator Criswell’s vision for improving resilience across the nation.”
In an initial discussion in December 2023, FEMA met with Frank Lujan, Jr., Chief Technology Officer, and Esther Aguigui, Guam Homeland Security Advisor to see if the PIV-I program would be viable for Guam. After continued discussion and planning, FEMA implemented a pilot program beginning with OTECH and GHS/OCD, and most recently, credentials for Governor Lou Leon Guerrero and Lt. Governor Joshua Tenorio.
“As we continue to solidify the process and ensure proper policies are in place, we will begin rolling this program out to other agencies, beginning with the Office of the Governor,” said Frank Lujan, Jr., Chief Technology Officer. “We have a goal to begin with the physical access piece first, especially for critical infrastructure agencies, and from there include all agencies throughout the rest of the year by implementing the program as part of an “on-boarding” and off-boarding” credentialing process within the government of Guam.”
“This type of PIV-I credentialing and security measure has always been something I wanted to implement to better improve our systems and our security as a territory,” said Esther Aguigui, Homeland Security Advisor. “We are grateful for this opportunity from FEMA and look forward to carrying out a program that is in line with Governor Leon Guerrero’s initiative and prioritization for hardened cybersecurity.”
OTECH, GHS/OCD and the Office of the Governor will be the first agencies within the government to implement the program, with a goal to move toward critical infrastructure in the coming months. More information will be provided as the PIV-I credentialing program becomes more available within the government.