Gemalto has unveiled the Smart Guardian USB token that can be used by federal employees and tied to their PIV credentials. The Smart Guardian FIPS was announced at the Smart Card Alliance’s Smart cards in Government show in Washington.
The federal government has banned the use of non-encrypted USB memory sticks due to fears of data being stolen or misplaced, says Neville Pattinson, vice president of government affairs and business development at Gemalto North America. The new product enables employees to bind the memory stick to their PIV. So in order to gain access to the drive, the employees needs the token, their PIV and the PIN for the token. This essentially enables three-factor authentication.
“The SG FIPS binds to a specific PIV card through a simple one-time use user interface presented by the SG FIPS,” Pattinson says. “The user does not need to knows any detail of the underlying PIV/SG FIPS binding. Their PIV PIN will activate the binding to the SG FIPS and on subsequent insertions of the SG FIPS, the binding will authenticate automatically once the PIV PIN authorization has been completed.”
The USB drive also has FIPS 140-2 Level Three certification for its cryptographic processor, says Pattinson. The device has the smart card technology embedded but its not used for PKI. The drive also enables the user to have partitions for encrypted and unencrypted data.
The drive comes in two and four gigabyte sizes, Pattinson says. The token itself is hermetically sealed so the processor within can’t be tampered with and includes anti-virus and anti-malware software.