For military users Silo allows for secure activation via the Common Access Card (CAC). The CAC is the secure identification card issued by the Department of Defense (DOD) to all military personnel (i.e., active duty and retired personnel) and civilian contractors. It is a “Smart Card” in that it has an embedded chip which, along with a secret personal identification number (PIN) code, securely identifies the card holder. CAC allows for computer and other electronic access by satisfying two-factor authentication, digital security and data encryption requirements. It leverages DOD certificates to verify a cardholder’s identity prior to allowing access to protected resources.


Technical Details

Silo CAC reading functionality follows the DOD specifications for CAC authentication and card reader access. This functionality is transparent to the user, with the user steps being limited to using a CAC smart card reader. The steps vary by smart card reader, but the following are the general steps. However, it is a good idea to review your smart card reader instructions prior to using it for the first time.


  1. When connected to your computer, the CAC Reader will have a Red or Amber LED illuminated indicating a proper connection.
  2. If the LED comes on the Drivers installed and the CAC smart card reader is working.
  3. If you do not see a Red or Amber LED, try connecting to a different USB port or another computer and see if the LED comes on. If the Red or Amber LED light does not turn on, contact your local support.
  4. Insert your CAC into the smart card reader. The LED indicator should change from Red/Amber to Green. A Green LED indicates that the CAC Reader has read and validated the Access Card.
  5. If the LED indicator does not change to green, contact your local support.

Note: Contact your local support for any smart card reader issues.



The following prerequisites must be met in order to use the Common Access Card (CAC) functionality.

  1. Silo must be installed on the device being used.
  2. The device being used must have a connected and properly configured smart card reader.
  3. The device being used must be configured to meet all Department of Defense (DOD) authentication standards.


Additional Notes

Please contact Support if you have any additional questions or concerns.