Microsoft has acquired Alacris, a Canadian provider of digital certificate and smart card-based access management systems, for an undisclosed sum.
Ottawa-based Alacris provides technology for firms to deploy, manage and maintain a smart-card-based access control infrastructure.
Mike Nash, corporate VP of the security technology unit at Microsoft, says: "Customers have told us that smart cards are becoming an increasingly important part of their authentication and authorisation strategy."
He says the Alacris technology will make it easier for customers to take advantage of the smart card capabilities in Windows with tools to simplify smart card life-cycle management.
Although Microsoft Windows provides a platform for utilising smart cards and other authentication technologies on the desktop through the firm's Active Directory and Certificate Services, Microsoft says enterprise customers are still faced with the complexity of provisioning smart card hardware, deploying digital certificates, managing certificate revocation, and auditing IT pro and end-user activity. Alacris' products address this need by delivering integrated systems that provide simplified management.