The COMSEC Accounting, Recording, and Distribution System (CARDS) provides full life-cycle support for an organization's COMSEC assets and automates all management-related tasks within an organization. In short, CARDS supports the "business" of COMSEC. From key managers at the Tier 1 COR to COMSEC custodians, CARDS enables functionality for everyone under the COMSEC umbrella. The current challenge in management of assets in a modern COMSEC Organization force is the use of a combination of software applications and platforms. Distribution of data and functionality across multiple platforms causes data duplication and an increase in error. CARDS wraps COMSEC management functions into a single modern portal system, which eliminates the need for stove-pipe applications. CARDS incorporates the following elements of COMSEC management, among others:

Security / Access Control

CARDS enables the authentication, modification, and deletion of privileges for individuals, organizations and system elements. All user connections are forced to authenticate and establish a valid session prior to gaining access to the CARDS Schema. Even if one were to bypass the portal applications and attempt direct connections to procedures and services, no database content can be rendered to the client without a validated session. Once a user has been properly authenticated, the security settings set by an administrator via the user privilege interfaces of CARDS to restrict a user's system actions, from the accounts the user may manage down to the customized or standard reports the user may generate. Additionally, the system allows an administrator to monitor the actions of each user and to kick a malicious user out of the system as desired.

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Ordering

COMSEC accounts may request COMSEC material from the COR / Distribution account using the Material Requests interface, which allows an account to specify its requirements for material and send it to the proper COR / Distribution account for fulfillment. CARDS also provides users Shopping Cart functionality. The CARDS Portal Shopping Cart will allow users to order COMSEC equipment as a material request to a distribution account by specifying their COMSEC equipment requirements and ancillary information. This feature allows a user at a field account to browse through various categories of items, select the desired items, indicate the requesting account, and add them to a cart. The user can view/select equipment from a web-based catalog meeting their requirements. Each item in each category displays the item image, short title name, description, price, and any availability information. Once the user has completed shopping, the user may process the cart, creating a material request for those items and the indicated accounts. The material request is then processed and fulfilled as a work order from the desired distribution account.

CARDS also tracks procurement of equipment from vendors for specific programs or departments. CARDS provides a Procurement module to track procurement orders, funding sources and programs, and the allocation of COMSEC material based on previously defined procurement requirements. At any time, COMSEC personnel may view the procurement information for each piece of equipment - costs, funding source, and the owning program / project. COMSEC Personnel may also view the equipment balances for each program or department, transfer balances as desired, and create depreciation reports.

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Physical Distribution / Shipping

CARDS automates the distribution of electronic and physical material in a secure manner. The CARDS package distribution module offers a digital format in which to track the creation and shipment of COMSEC packages and manifests. It is very flexible in all its processes, allowing user or administrator customization. An administrator may easily setup limitless shipping types, label types, and local element addresses, saving them in one location for easy access and modification. The CARDS distribution module supports multiple wraps with different labels for each wrap. It also provides support for tamper protection programs.

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Data Archival

Mitigate the loss and duplication of documentation by storing documents digitally in one central location using CARDS Portal document management module. The document management module is used to store everything from wet signatures on SF153s to equipment manuals on the CARDS Server, allowing easy access from a central location. Easy associations of documents to an account or local element, short title, specific register item, work order, and transactions makes searching and access a snap.

Accounting

With the use of explorer trees, COMSEC material search and management interfaces, CARDS tracks and displays the location and status of cryptographic products in real-time on one central database. From the time COMSEC material is received into the system to the time it is destroyed, CARDS records each COMSEC action and transaction performed on each item during its life cycle for retrieval by each user of the CARDS system.

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Key Distribution / Recovery 

CARDS incorporate multiple methods of key scheduling, distribution, and recovery. To enable key distribution, controlling authorities may set the key distribution requirements for each of its accounts, allowing automatic tracking of key expiration dates and ensuring automatic distribution of required key before expiration of current key to each account. CARDS Black Key distribution imports wrapped key from EKMS via floppy or wire and distributes it securely via network resources through the network to CARDS users. The suite of CARDS software includes a Direct-to-Fill device technology to allow users to download key from CARDS Portal directly into a fill device using an RS-232 serial port without the user of client software. Each key download is SSL/TLS secured and authenticated using PKI certificates. For secure Red Key distribution, Scytale has developed Polybius, a secure paper-based key delivery and TrKek recover platform that converts digital key files into a series of secure barcodes on physical media.