Smart Cards Provide Strong Authentication and Enhanced User Convenience for Logical Access Security

Wednesday 13 October 2004 13:58 CET | News

Smart card technology can provide organizations with strong authentication and enhanced user convenience for logical access security, according to a new report from the Smart Card Alliance.

The report, Logical Access Security: The Role of Smart Cards in Strong Authentication, provides a comprehensive review of current issues surrounding secure information systems access, alternate approaches for authentication and key business considerations for investing in and implementing new technology for strong authentication. It describes the benefits of using smart cards for logical access and highlights the significant level of smart-card-related support and functionality provided by both Microsoft Windows and Linux operating systems. The report also includes profiles of several organizations currently using smart ID cards for information systems access including Boeing, Microsoft, Rabobank, Shell, Sun Microsystems, U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Department of State. Using single-factor authentication, such as a password, for information systems access is a significant security risk. A single password can be easily compromised, and storing password data on corporate networks introduces additional vulnerability to attackers who gain network access or insider fraud. Strong authentication, the report explains, requires the use of two or three factors. Smart cards work with other authentication techniques by storing some combination of password files, public key infrastructure certificates, one-time password seed files or biometric image templates on a single card. Organizations then combine more than one factor to improve the security and privacy of the overall authentication process. For example, authentication might require something you have, the smart card; something you know, a personal identification number or password; and something you are, a unique physical characteristic or biometric identifier.

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Categories: Payments & Commerce | Cards
Countries: World
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