The Defense Department is updating its system that gives employees access to the Pentagon’s networks, Military Times reported.
The Pentagon expects to complete its common access cards system by Oct.1 and employees are expected to upgrade their cards by that time.
The new CAC system is intended to be more secure than the previous one and include updated encryption codes.
The new cards also exclude employees’ social security numbers in order to protect their identities.
Contractors, active duty airman, guardsmen, reservists and civilians are required to upgrade their cards.
The Pentagon started the changeover in 2008, issuing a memo through which it outlined plans to update the system with a new encryption level to block outsiders from accessing information tied to the card.
Lily Chen, a mathematician with the National Institute of Standards and Technology, told Military Times the encryption adds more bits to the cards.
The increase makes for an enormous number that a computer would need to factor in order to access, she said.
The card update has been taking place since late 2010, the Air Force Personnel Center indicated to Military Times.