by Marc Hudavert - Vice President and General Manager, ActivCard Europe - Thursday, 24 April 2003.
To access these systems, staff strongly authenticate themselves by inserting their Common Access Card into the smart card reader of the terminal and keying in a PIN code on its keyboard. In doing so, staff are not changing anything in their ATM user experience. Then, in a totally transparent and automatic manner, staff will use all of the ID credentials that are loaded on the chip of the ID card. Depending on the nature of the applications, these ID credentials can be static passwords, PKI keys and certificates for digital signing and encryption, fingerprint biometrics as well as demographic credentials required, for example, to manage medical benefits and other entitlements.This infrastructure has been rolled out to around 60% of over 900 DMDC locations worldwide and issuance is continuing at an average rate of around 10,000 cards per day.Today, the IDentity Management (IDM) system that has been developed by ActivCard and its partners for the U.S. DoD Common Access Card project has become a 'commercial off-the-shelf' solution for enterprise applications.Enterprises Seek to Maximise Return on Investment
The decision-making process as to which digital identity solution to deploy extends well beyond issues of security. In today's corporate environment security for security's sake is no longer sufficient to justify the significant IT investment involved. Corporations are increasingly focused on cost reduction and invest only where there are clearly identified operational efficiencies and a measurable return on the initial investment. IT managers are required to maximise their return on investment in all of the credential systems that they have already deployed. The key here is to deploy a solution that enables multiple digital IDs to be consolidated on a single card, thus saving the enterprise money and enhancing employee productivity.
ActivCard's Corporate Access Card solution suites, the civilian equivalent of the Common Access Card, have proved themselves to be deployable, manageable, robust and very flexible in establishing and managing identity in the corporate networked environment. These smart corporate ID cards enable employees to access their corporate resources as confidently and easily as they access cash at ATM terminals. Global corporations such as Microsoft, Sun Microsystems and Hewlett Packard have already turned to smart card-based corporate ID badges that leverage the military-strength architecture developed for the DoD to manage employees' digital IDs for access to buildings as well as for access to corporate network resources and applications, both remotely and locally. All three enterprises are deploying digital identity management solutions which enable them to consolidate on a single card the wide diversity of credentials a company has to manage for each individual user. These include a picture ID card, a remote authentication token to access network resources while on the road, PKI certificates to digitally sign emails, potentially also biometric information and any number of static passwords. The cards can also be configured to contain employee health and benefit information, payroll information and even e-cash for purchases. And they offer the flexibility of embedding the ID credentials in a variety of different form factors, including smart cards, tokens and USB keys. EMV and beyond - winning and retaining customers
There are already a significant number of promising initiatives underway in the financial sector to offer multiple applications on a bank card, thus extending the comfort of the familiar ATM experience for simple financial transactions.