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Thales launches SafeSign personal security module and unconnected reader

28 April 2004  |  661 views  |  0

Thales is announcing at InfoSec the launch of the SafeSign PSM (personal security module) from Thales e-Security, the final component in the SafeSign family of products for end-to-end transaction security. The SafeSign PSM consists of a smart card token and unconnected reader to ensure the highest level of two factor authentication available on the market.

Thales has designed the SafeSign PSM as the perfect complement to the SafeSign solution of products that provides end-to-end transaction security from a single platform.

The SafeSign PSM represents the next generation of smart card-based personal security systems. The smart card token provides a secure storage de vice for cryptographic keys and the unconnected reader provides a secure environment within which to use those keys to perform security operations. These include a Challenge/Response user authentication scheme and a MAC (message authentication code) based transaction authentication scheme. Principally designed for high-end transactions, such as corporate payment or financial management systems, all the encryption security resides on the PSM smart card. This provides the two-factor authentication of something you have and something you know.

An extremely flexible system, the SafeSign PSM includes the ability to use the smart card token in an unconnected or connected environment without the need for any reprogramming. The SafeSign PSM reader contains an LCD display and a keypad for user data entry, but does not contain any user-specific information and therefore does not need "issuing" or managing.

With the launch of the SafeSign PSM, Thales can now offer a complete solution for end-to-end transaction security. The SafeSign solution already allows banks to authenticate transactions and manage identities for multiple channels from a single platform. By using SafeSign PSM, banks can extend the transaction security all the way to the end user. This means that SafeSign can now authenticate the transaction from its inception by the user with SafeSign PSM, through to its authentication by the SafeSign Authentication Server.

The components of SafeSign are:
  • SafeSign Authentication Server - a multi-channel authentication platform
  • SafeSign Management Server - token and identity management from Intercede
  • SafeSign Crypto Module - a hardware security module for secure storage and use of cryptographic keys
  • SafeSign PSM - a smart card token and unconnected reader

    Paul Meadowcroft, Head of Transaction Security at Thales e-Security, said: "The launch of SafeSign PSM completes our vision for a single end-to-end transaction authentication system. Early feedback from our customers and partners has shown that a complete end-to-end solution is an extremely attractive proposition for finance, commercial and government applications. We are finding that the need for Advanced Authentication and transaction security is growing against a background of increasing transaction fraud and corporate governance initiatives. We believe SafeSign represents the most flexible, manageable and open system available to achieve this."
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