TOKYO, JAPAN DECEMBER 11, 2008 – Athena Smartcard Solutions, a leading in-house developer and manufacturer of smart cards, tokens, smart card readers, middleware and smart card operating systems, today announced that its ASECard Crypto smart card successfully completed the “SCCC Smart Card Minidriver Logo Ready” program for Version 6 smart card minidrivers. Minidrivers are “device drivers” for smart cards as implemented in the Windows Smart Card Framework. In obtaining Microsoft certification, Athena assures Windows customers best compatibility and a highly secure solution.
Athena has worked hand-in-hand with the Microsoft Smart Card Certification Center in the European Development Center to certify a card minidriver that meets the required quality level of the upcoming Windows Vista SP1 logo program for Version 6 smart card minidrivers. Windows Vista SP1 introduces an update to the Windows Smartcard Framework that supports more flexible PIN prompting and PIN entry options, including support for multiple PINs, PIN cache control and PIN entry through external devices such as PIN entry devices and biometric PINs. Athena is first to implement Minidriver Version 6 to accept Match-on-Card fingerprint biometrics in addition to PIN, enabling for the first time, biometric smart card logon on Windows Vista.
Athena’s ASECard Crypto is a high performance smart card, powered by Athena’s performance leading ASEPCOS Cryptographic Smart Card Operating System. The ASECard Crypto smart cards and tokens provide secure two-factor authentication as well as full cryptographic capabilities for PKI, providing RSA and Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) support in the Windows Vista environment. Today, Athena takes pride in the widespread deployment of its Windows Vista compatible products, including contact and dual interface (contact/contactless) smart cards, tokens, and performance leading smart card readers.
“The creation of a certification program for smart card mindirivers and smart cards is one of the key pillars of Microsoft’s Windows Smart Card Framework and part of Microsoft’s ongoing and broader investment in identity and security. The program is complemented by our efforts around the Microsoft Identity Lifecyle Manager solution, which provides IT organizations with policy and business process frameworks to manage smart cards,” said Dustin Ingalls, Director of Program Management: Windows Core Operating System Division. “We would like to congratulate Athena on the successful participation in the “Logo Ready” early adopter program for V6 smart card minidrivers. The ASECard Crypto smart card is a perfect example of how the Windows Smart Card Framework enhances the security and user experience in Windows Vista.”
“Smart cards are proving to be the first choice for authentication devices used in secure network access. Deploying smart cards in the enterprise is made even easier by the Windows Smart Card Framework and Athena’s ASEPCOS powered smart cards and tokens,” said Jochi Fuchs, Vice President, Business Development, Athena. “Athena’s completion of a similar process with Biometrics, together with the successful completion of the V6 smart card minidriver certification program, reinforces the company’s commitment to support Microsoft’s initiatives for a more secure computing experience.”
Today, enterprises that are looking for a single smart card based employee/customer/partner badge, deployed on Microsoft Windows Server 2003/2008 based computer networks represent the fastest growing market for Athena’s Unified Badge smart cards and tokens. These products allow for both logical access to computer networks and physical access to facilities and services. Athena’s solutions allow for seamless integration of smart card based authentication solutions, with optional biometrics support, in large computer networks and government identity card deployments.
Athena Smartcard Solutions, one of the industry’s fastest growing vendors, is a provider of smart cards, tokens, smart card readers and smart card management systems — protecting computer networks — and an innovative supplier of cards and operating systems for National ID and ePassport appicatoins. Athena’s offices in the US, Europe, and Asia serve customers worldwide including some of the world’s leading banks, manufactures, telecoms and Government organizations. The company’s dedicated engineering, sales, and support staff has over 20 years’ experience in smart card and security technology including some of the original innovators and developers of Java Card and inventors of key technologies of the MULTOS operating system.
Athena’s products include contact and dual interface open platform and file system based cryptographic smart cards for Windows Authentication, PIV, CNS/CIE, JICSAP, Java Card, Global Platform, and EMV. The Athena ASEDrive line of smart card readers includes high performance USB desktop, internal, keyboard and biometric smart card readers. Athena’s cryptographic middleware solutions including the ASECard Crypto Toolkit with support for all major operating systems, and through the Athena CMS, our customers enjoy smart card life-cycle management solutions for contact and contactless cards.
©2008 Athena Smartcard Solutions. All rights reserved. ASEKey, ASEPCOS, ASECard Crypto and the Athena logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Athena Smartcard Solutions. All other product and brand names mentioned in this document are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.
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