ActivIdentity releases new identity sign-on product

ActivIdentity releases a new version of its enterprise single sign-on software.

IT security vendor ActivIdentity has released a new version of its single sign-on identity management product for large businesses, including new integrated support for smart cards, the company said Wednesday.

Version 6.0 of the ActivIdentity SecureLogin Single Sign-On software allows large companies to store user names and passwords for PC access on employee smart cards, instead of in central corporate computers, ActivIdentity officials said. SecureLogin also allows businesses to choose to store application credentials on smart cards, and it allows customers to the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) cryptographic algorithm to encrypt and protect the user's important login data.

The single sign-on software allows corporate or government users to consolidate all application or device user names and passwords onto a single smart card. An average corporate user has between five and 15 user names and passwords, ActivIdentity said. The ActivIdentity software can be used to power smart cards providing physical access as well as application access.

Storage of credentials or user names and passwords on individual smart cards instead of company laptops can improve security, said Brian Kowal, a technical manager for business development with ActivIdentity.

"It's something that's in your pocket," Kowal said of the smart cards. "If you lose your computer, you don't have all your user names and passwords stored on your computer. Unless you've got millions and millions of dollars and a few years, you might break into one smart card."

The goal of the comprehensive identity management suite -- sometimes called an enterprise single sign-on or eSSO suite -- is to make the security transparent to end users, Kowal said. The software allows company security administrators to choose to generate one-time passwords within the chip of the smart cards, but the smart card carrier sees no difference when they use the cards, he said. If security administrators change passwords every 90 days, it will happen automatically on the smart cards, without end users having to remember new passwords, Kowal said.

"The end user, whether they're using static user names and passwords or they're using one-time passwords, it's all automated to them," he said. "They don't know. Your end users don't need to worry about the security policies."

The ActivIdentity SecureLogin Single Sign-On software supports several smart card vendors. The new version includes a new user interface, support for the Mozilla Firefox browser, and several other new features, ActivIdentity said.

SecureLogin Single Sign-On v6 is immediately available through ActivIdentity's network of certified value added resellers, systems integrators and distributors. Pricing starts at US$79 per user with volume discounts available.

The former ActivCard acquired Protocom, a software firm specializing in credential management, in August. The new version combines capabilities formerly offered by the two companies, ActivIdentity said.

The company has about 4,000 business and government customers, with more than 20 million users of its software, it said.

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