HP has announced a smart card security scheme for the Internet and intranet, under an initiative known as the HP Praesidium/ ImagineCard system.
Praesidium is HP's enterprise security framework, which the cards will link into. Using ImagineCard, companies will be able to issue cards to their employees, customers and business partners, giving cardholders access to Web applications or corporate intranets or extranets.
Users of the scheme will receive smart card readers which plug into external PC ports, although HP plans to build smart card readers into its corporate Vectra PC line in the future.
The cards can be managed centrally by an organisation's network administrator.
ImagineCard comes with developer and deployment kits and will ship with the HP smart card management system, an HP 9000 D-Class server running HP-UX and a HP Vectra PC. Also included in the system are the card readers from Gemplus, an Informix Online Dynamic Server database, a smart card printer from DataCard and Entrust public-key cryptography software. Pricing will be on a per user basis, but UK pricing has not yet been announced.
The system will ship worldwide from 1 April.
The cards are the fruits of an alliance the company established in September 1995 with Gemplus and Informix. Smart cards are considered more secure than software security solutions because each user can be issued with a personalised plastic card and their own passwords.
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