Amsterdam, the Netherlands, February 15, 2005 – Axalto today announced support for Windows 2000 SP4, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003 with its Cryptoflex™ .NET smart card. Axalto smart cards provide a convenient mean to strongly secure access to corporate networks, applications and information. This support dramatically simplifies the deployment, usage and maintenance of smart cards to secure these networks, applications and information.
Cryptoflex .NET is the same advanced technology Microsoft has deployed for its internal corporate badge. With this package governmental agencies and companies can easily and cost-effectively enable their employees to logon, digitally sign and encrypt e-mail, and perform other secure two-factor strong authentication services using Cryptoflex .NET smart cards.
“Axalto has worked closely with Microsoft to help build enhanced smart card support into Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, and Windows Vista,” said Michael Atalla, group product manager of the Identity & Access Division at Microsoft Corp. “Cryptoflex .NET smart card solutions can help customers secure their most valuable assets. In fact, Microsoft has adopted this technology to help protect its own employees and networks throughout the world.”
Axalto has already delivered more than 47,000 Cryptoflex .NET smart cards to Microsoft for their internal IT security use. Microsoft’s .NET technology corporate badges are used for physical access to Microsoft’s facilities and for logical access to its systems and applications by employees.
Previously, organizations wanting to take advantage of smart cards for strong authentication needed to purchase and install proprietary systems, which are both costly and difficult to support. Now, simply downloading Microsoft’s new Base Smart Card Cryptographic Service Provider from Microsoft Windows Update or Download Center enables the Axalto Cryptoflex .NET smart card on Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003. The upcoming Windows Vista release will have this technology already built into the system.
“The significance of this new capability in Windows is that organizations can now deploy smart card security much more easily and at significantly lower total cost of ownership” said Marvin Tansley, Access product line manager at Axalto. “With basic services available out of the box, organizations can use their resources to develop convenient personalized applications and services, or integrate third party services like OATH one-time passwords that run securely inside the smart card itself”.
The Cryptoflex .NET smart card is a secure ultra-miniature personal computing technology that runs a small footprint implementation of the .NET framework developed by Axalto. It provides customizable two-factor authentication (2FA) as well as full cryptographic capabilities seamlessly via the standard Microsoft .NET programming tools and interfaces.
Microsoft redesigned the Cryptographic Service Provider (CSP) architecture that enables users to logon, digitally sign and encrypt e-mail, and perform other authentication services with smart cards. Before, each smart card vendor provided a CSP that was proprietary and required separate installation. In the redesign, Microsoft split the conventional CSP architecture into a Base Smart Card CSP and Card Module components. Microsoft provides the Base CSP and smart card companies provide Card Modules as plug-ins to connect the Base CSP to their smart card.
Axalto developed the high performance, optimized card module that supports the Cryptoflex .NET smart card. In addition, Microsoft has provided a simple card management tool to change the smart card PIN and unblock the smart card. The Microsoft Base Smart Card Cryptographic Service Provider Package is available to be downloaded from Microsoft Windows Update or Download Center for Windows 2000 SP4, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003.
Axalto (Euronext: NL0000400653 – AXL) is the world’s leading provider of microprocessor cards (Gartner 2005, Frost & Sullivan 2004)— the key to digital networks — and a major supplier of point-of-sale terminals. Its 4,500 employees come from over 65 nationalities and serve customers in more than 100 countries, with worldwide sales reaching 3 billion smart cards to date. The company has 25 years of experience in smart card innovation and leads its industry in security technology and open systems.
Axalto continuously creates new generations of products for use in a variety of applications in the telecommunications, finance, retail, transport, entertainment, healthcare, personal identification, information technology and public sector markets. Microprocessor cards provide convenience, security and privacy to public and private services operators, their customers and end users.