The Air Force is tightening up its desktop security policies by requiring all remote users of the service's online portal to present military identification cards before logging in, according to a recent article.

Special readers attached to the computers of all remote Air Force portal users will scan for key cards upon login, the Air Force Times reported. After readers detect the cards, users will enter a PIN before they access the online portal. The new remote desktop security system mirrors measures that are already in place at other military installations.

"The military is under constant attack 24/7 from a variety of different places," Major Kevin Johnson, an Air Force security assurance expert, told the newspaper.

Air Force representatives predicted that reservists would be most affected by the change, because they do preparatory work for service weekends from home, the article noted. The military branch has ordered 19,000 readers so far, at $15 each.

The highly sensitive nature of information handled by Air Force service members and other military personnel requires that systems administrators take extra precautions with regards to logins and user identification policies. Recent incidents such as the attacks by China-based hackers on Google's corporate infrastructure illustrate the threats to cyber security posed by foreign actors.
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