Announces support for iCLASS® contactless cards in Dell laptops, plus new HID on the Desktop logical access control solutions
Physical and logical access on a single credential … We have been talking about it for years using the industry buzzword convergence but it has been more difficult to achieve than most ever imagined. But this may be changing. Recent announcements from HID Global outline how to access both your building and your computer from the same contactless card.
At a press conference during the September ASIS International Conference in Atlanta Denis Hébert, HID Global’s president and CEO, announced that new Dell Latitude E-Family laptops have a contactless smart card reader built into the palm rest that supports iCLASS cards.
When using an iCLASS® card, laptop users will be able to use Dell’s pre-boot authentication functionality which helps to secure the data on the laptop. When first turning the laptop on, a user will present an iCLASS card to the contactless smart card reader. A valid card presentation will enable the laptop to boot up and take the user to the Windows operating system.
In the future, users will be able to experience secure, two-factor authentication with the ability to present their card and a PIN to securely authenticate to either Windows XP or Windows Vista. This conforms to Microsoft’s strategic direction to deploy smart cards for secure authentication.
A good password management system has been one of the major barriers to computer authentication, Hébert said, quoting Microsoft founder Bill Gates that “passwords are the weakest link in the system.” Hébert said this is what HID can help resolve.
Plus with this new system, a single iCLASS card can both get an employee into the building and access his computer. “We’re accelerating the requirement for convergence of security solutions by enabling a single credential for physical and logical access,” says Hébert.
More importantly, this makes logical and physical access control more accessible, in this case to small- and medium-size businesses, something that because of cost and complexity may have been out of reach before.
Another logical step in convergence
HID also announced what Hébert called “the next logical step … logical access on the desktop.” HID on the Desktop is a set of logical access control solutions including both hardware and software.
On the hardware side, HID cards or tokens and a series of OMNIKEY® card readers are available. The newest addition to the series is the OMNIKEY 6321 USB dongle reader that can both read and write to both a 13.56 MHz contactless smart card and virtually any SIM-sized contact smart card. It instantly adds contactless capability to any USB-equipped computer and is ideal for mobile users. “It provides a transition between machines that incorporate smart card reader technology in them and standard machines as they exist today,” says Hébert.
On the software side, HID’s new naviGO™ software enables an organization to use its existing physical access control cards for strong two-factor authentication at the desktop, says Hébert. “It provides logical access control that makes computer access as easy as building access.”
The opportunity here, whether with the Dell Latitude E-Series laptops or any machine with an smart card reader, is to let small- and mid-sized organizations achieve convergence … enabling the use of a single credential to control logical and physical access.