Aiming to decrease the amount of data employees need for security and authentication, RSA Security Inc. Monday announced the release of its SecurID ComboReader.
The SecurID ComboReader is a combination token and smart-card reader, designed for use with RSA's ACE/Server security and authentication software, the company said in a statement. ACE/Server is a two-factor authentication system that RSA offers for e-business and remote access customers. Two-factor authentication requires users to provide two pieces of data in order to be authenticated: something they have -- in this case a token -- and something they know, like a personal identification number or password.
About the size and thickness of five or six credit cards, the SecurID ComboReader functions as a token, but also offers a smart-card reader for future use, according to Ted Kamionek, senior product manager of smart cards at RSA. The device is aimed at businesses that already use token-based authentication and are unsure about their future technology direction, but are considering smart cards, he said.
For companies using tokens that might move to smart cards within a few years, the SecurID ComboReader "allows people to hedge their bet towards a more complicated technology solution," he said.
By having smart-card readers already deployed as part of tokens, when companies do decide to move to systems based on smart cards, they will save money and be able to get a new system up and running faster, he said.
The SecurID ComboReader will be available worldwide within 30 days and costs US$66 each in quantities of 1,000, with bulk discounts available. The device plugs in to both serial and USB (Universal Serial Bus) ports.