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10/24/2006
04:42 PM
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Defense Department Picks Smart Card For Desktop, Network Security

Middleware will authenticate military smart-card holders and allow them to access their local computer and departmental network systems, as well as provide secure remote access.

ActivIdentity Corp. has won contracts with the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Army and the U.S. Air Force for its smart-card desktop client software.

ActivIdentity ActivClient 6.0 will move the U.S. armed services to next-generation common access cards, which comply with a directive from Homeland Security. The middleware will authenticate smart-card holders and allow them to access their local computer and departmental network systems, as well as provide secure remote access.

The Homeland Security directive requires security, compatibility and government-wide interoperability to digitally authenticate Java-based common access cards for 3.5 million military personnel and contractors around the world. The smart-card client software provides support for multiple generations of common access card versions.

In a July report called "Identity Solutions Industry Outlook," the Stanford Group Company valued the smart-card contracts with the DoD and various military branches at nearly $1.3 billion over five years, with most revenue flowing in from fiscal years 2007 to 2009.

The cards incorporate identity assurance and authentication practices using PKI and biometric fingerprint credentials on a single cryptographic smart card.

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