844-448-8787 info@tribalpoint.com

TribalPoint Blog

Best Practices, Tips, and More from Our TribalPoint Consultants

Digital Vision Building for Tribal Governments

Digital Vision Building for Tribal Governments

Creating Digital Vision for Citizen Journey Enhancement

Join our experts for our upcoming blog series. Through out the coming weeks, we’ll be covering content specifically for government managers, tribal councils, and tribal government employees. Starting any project is hard work, but understanding the “Why” is crucial is a successful project that brings value to the tribal citizens and government. Once we have the “Why,” we continue to road map the values, levels of effort and dependencies all instrumental to project success.

Step 1: Review and Update Tribal Government Objectives: Realizing Future Needs

Properly beginning a digital vision process includes a review of tribal priorities and objectives. A crucial step in evaluation of current and future needs, an evaluation will provide much value for a tribe.

During evaluation, we can ask ourselves:

Is there a change in priorities for the tribe now?
Are we seeking to bring more value to Citizens?
What are these values?
Have the needs of tribal citizens changed in the past few years?
Has the tribe done any research based on citizen needs?
How often are we listening to our citizens?
What drives the decision to allocate money to certain tribal programs?
Are those decisions data driven, politically driven, or based on some other needs?
What are the tribe’s strengths/challenges?

With a litany of questions, we begin to evaluate the tribe’s current state in relation to achieving a digital vision. Introspective evaluation helps to frame the amount of progress needed to achieve a full digital vision.

Step 2: Conduct or review research (only if it is recent) into members’ needs and online usage

When was the last time the tribe did a review and research of citizen needs? Are your services effective, so they serve the purposes originally intended? Learn Citizen’s behavior using analytics, testing, surveys and focus groups.

Does the tribe have an understanding of what services are being utilized the most? Where the most money is being spent and possibly the hardest question to answer for a Tribal Government: Are the dollars we are spending on tribal citizens, actually making an impact on their lives? How do we qualify this question?

Based off the entire Tribe’s citizens, have personas ever been created to understand segments of the tribal population? For example: Do we know what types of support tribal citizens who are expectant mothers need before and after birth of their children. Has the tribe ever studied their needs?

How about a Tribal citizen who is a college student? We must know any data analytics about their progress throughout the school system and then college. The tribe should also know if there is betterment of life for a student based off the programs that the tribal government provides. Can we prove this with numbers or use cases?

Understanding segments of Citizens can exponentially improve a tribe’s offering to citizens. Once data is captured about the interactions citizens have with tribal programs and services, the tribe can learn how citizens are engaging with you, What programs are working for them, which ones aren’t, Which services or programs are popular and which ones can be re positioned, absorbed or scrapped.

Are your Tribal IDs and Enhanced Tribal Card (ETC) Safe from Criminals?

Increasing Threats Call for Increasing Security Features

As criminals’ leverage technology for increasingly effective identity fraud, utilizing ID security feature technologies will play an important role in the effectiveness of tribal document security.

Tribal identity documents, much like driver’s licenses or state ID cards, are vulnerable to counterfeiters, fraudsters and criminals. Like many identity documents, tribal ID cards grant citizens the type of opportunities identity thieves look to exploit, many times for fraudulent identification needs or financial gain. With increasing access to technology, cyber criminals exploit technology to counterfeit identity documents.  Criminals can even gain access to the same technologies used to create authentic identity documents. Therefore, increasing the security features in identification documents puts tribal governments ahead of threats and renders identity thieves option-less to create fraudulent identity documents.

The time to begin enhancing security features of tribal citizen ID cards is now. An evaluation of the current tribal identification card will show opportunities for enhancing security features. Furthermore, understanding security features and preforming a high-level security audit of your ID card’s security features is a useful practice. An ID card evaluation is an opportunity to help tribes decide whether updating a tribal ID card with enhanced security features is a valuable project in the immediate future.

Security features are physically existing elements in the design of a tribal ID card. These features on/within a tribal ID card fall into one of two categories; overt or covert. While overt security features are visible to touch and the naked eye, covert features are hidden from the naked eye.  Both types of features come together to create highly secure tribal ID cards for citizens. A blend of both security features creates multiple safe guards against counterfeiters illegally copying and using tribal ID cards for malicious activities.

Overt security features on a tribal ID card may include (but are not limited to) visible features such as expiration date, issuance date and holograms. These features can also be tactile such as laser engraved images on the tribal ID card’s surface or laser perforations that are not visible, only tactile.

Covert features, or features unseen by the naked eye, usher in a second wave of identification card security, further deterring counterfeiters from attempting to recreate ID cards. Covert features include (but are not limited to) RFID chips embedded within ID Cards, ultra violet inks used in the printing process, or unique holograms created specifically for use with an individual tribe’s ID card. These covert features exist hidden on the card, and their security features and locations on the ID card are held in classified documents.

Preforming a preliminary high-level evaluation of tribal ID cards should be done often to ensure that ID card security is current and strong enough to deter counterfeiters. Organizations and government fall victim to identity thieves and counterfeiters, because security reviews of ID cards are not done often enough. Rarely reviewing ID cards fails to keep counterfeit proofing technologies cutting edge and capable of high levels of security.

First, a visual inspection will expose the overt security features currently in use. On the card, make sure to look for expiration dates, signature of card holder, holograms, watermarks, color shifting or pearlescent inks, and ghost images of the card holder. Take note of the amount of security features currently in use. If only one to two security features are used, the ID card may need stronger overt security features to deter counterfeiting.

Second, document your covert features currently used on the tribal ID card. When covert security features are not readily known to the evaluator/tribe, research of the current covert security features must be performed. Many times, tribes can refer back to documentation within their government to learn if any covert features are in use with their ID card. If a tribe used an implementation vendor for ID cards, a request made to see if documentation is available, can be valuable.  If all avenues have been exhausted and there is no documentation, generally no covert security features are utilized. Meaning there is an opportunity for the tribe to utilize more covert security features within their ID cards.

Heightening security features of a tribe’s identification card does not have to end with a security evaluation and issuance of more secured tribal ID card.Tribes pushing for even more security feature rich IDs are entering into Memorandum of Agreements (MOAs) with the Department of Homeland Security/Customs and Border Patrol, to create what is known as Enhanced Tribal Identification Cards. The MOAs outline security standards that both parties follow in the administration/data exchange/audit of the Enhanced Tribal Identification Card program. The Enhanced Tribal Identification Card or ‘ETC’ provides citizens of participating tribal governments more options when using enhanced tribal ID cards. citizens issued ETCs can cross (via land) into Canada and Mexico (citation), can use the identification cards at gaming facilities, military bases, and use the ETCs as age verification document at businesses.

There are many opportunities today to leverage ID security technology and add value to identification documents. A quick evaluation of current ID card security can yield knowledge of future needs and frame a road map of ID security enhancement goals. No matter the condition of your tribe’s citizen ID card, there is always opportunity to strengthen security features. Opportunities to add value to tribal ID cards continue through partnerships with the Department of Homeland Security/Customs and Border Protection in providing Enhanced Tribal Identification Cards for citizens. Regardless of where the journey for enhancing tribal citizen IDs ends, there is great comfort in knowing that the best resources were utilized to protect citizen identities. Make a review of your tribal ID Cards an integral piece of the strategic vision for security within tribal governments.

Azure for Government

TribalPoint is excited to announce its enrollment with Azure for Government!

Azure’s state of the art cloud design enables government entities and select private contractors to engage their citizens in a safe, efficient, and cost-effective manner. Azure for Government bases their success in technology that helps promote identity management, state of the art cloud infrastructure, and advanced workloads.

TribalPoint’s knowledge of Enhanced Tribal Identification card systems, RFID technology, and government funding, paired with Azure for Government, has transformed and revolutionized the ETC implementation process. Our promise has always been to bring tribes to self-sufficiency in ETC issuance and production. Our partnership with Azure enables us to provide a unique mix of tools that will promote self-sufficient growth and development within your tribe.

Have more questions about our partnership with Azure for Government? Be sure to check out our next webinar in our Summer Series; Enhanced Tribal Card Jumpstart: Learn more about the ETC process! The event will be an excellent opportunity to learn more about the ETC process, ask questions to a live panel of ETC experts, and to develop direct connections to leaders in the ETC industry. Join us on Thursday, August 17th at 2:00 pm (Eastern Time).

Register for our upcoming webinar, here.


Kasia Majkowski – Account Executive for TribalPoint – Kasia@tribalpoint.com