Defense Department Picks Smart Card For Desktop, Network Security

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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