REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – June 8, 1998 – To combat the growing number of network security violations, Gemplus, the world’s leading provider of smart card solutions, today introduced GemSAFE, a secure and portable, smart card-based solution for accessing corporate Intranets, Web sites and e-mail systems. Compatible with Microsoft Corporation and Netscape Communications browser software suites, individual GemSAFE kits are priced under US$100.
Ideal for companies seeking to secure Internet-based services or corporate Intranets and Extranets, and individuals who want to protect the digital exchange of information, GemSAFE offers the highest level of transaction security by storing a user’s digital identity on a smart card.
“Today’s browsers and e-mail programs already have security measures installed, but they are software-based solutions, that require only a password for access. If the password is guessed, stolen or cracked, your online identity is vulnerable to misuse and fraud,” said Michel Roux, vice president and general manager of the Internet and information technologies at Gemplus. “Now, users can be sure it’s safe by simply inserting their smart card into their reader, typing in their PIN for identification and allowing the chip on the card to carry out user authentication.”
GemSAFE Secures Sensitive Transactions
With GemSAFE, companies offering security-sensitive services such as online stock trading, home banking and retail purchasing can provide customers with complete online transaction security by offering stronger user authentication than traditional password-based solutions.
Spoofing or falsifying e-mail sender names and addresses is now restricted because GemSAFE addresses message authentication – or verification of identity – by enabling e-mail users to secure their messages using digital certificates stored on a smart card. Users no longer have to fear that their messages could be forged or altered since the digital signature appended to each message guarantees the senders’ identity and the integrity of the message.
Additionally, Web sites, Intranets and Extranets can be secured using GemSAFE. Corporations can replace vulnerable password systems, while still making it possible for authorized individuals to easily and securely access corporate information from any GemSAFE-equipped computer.
Portability and Personalization
GemSAFE is a portable solution that individuals can carry in a shirt pocket or wallet. Users who travel benefit from being able to simply and securely access network services with a personal PIN (personal identification number)-protected smart card from any PC in the world equipped with the GemSAFE solution.
Employers also have the option to customize the GemSAFE solution to include a company logo, employee photograph, or other custom graphics.
GemSAFE Is Easy To Install and Use
Designed to be “plug-and-play,” GemSAFE is easy to install and set up. Individuals simply connect the smart card reader to a computer’s serial port and install the software on any Windows 95 or Windows NT computer. A user then activates the smart card through an online procedure that downloads an industry-standard “certificate” to the card. The smart card can now provide strong proof-of-identity when sending e-mails or accessing Web sites.
While securing user’s network identity, GemSAFE supports many industry standards. The user’s identity is contained in an industry standard X.509 certificate stored on the smart card. For security, the user’s private keys never leave the card. GemSAFE cards can be used in industry standard PC/SC-compliant smart card readers, including the Gemplus GCR410 serial-port reader bundled with the product. Using a Microsoft Crypto-Service Provider (CSP) and PKCS#11 libraries, both Microsoft and Netscape browsers are capable of providing SSLv3 client authentication to requesting web servers via the certificate stored on the card. In addition, that certificate can be used in Microsoft and Netscape e-mail programs to securely exchange electronic mail via S/MIME.
Pricing and Availability
GemSAFE includes a Gemplus smart card, a smart card reader, software (including the latest version of Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq:MSFT) and Netscape Communications (Nasdaq:NSCP) browser software suites), and a voucher for a VeriSign digital certificate. For individual users the GemSAFE kit is priced at US$99, with volume discounts available.
For businesses interested in deploying large-scale secure network access projects, the GemSAFE Evaluation Kit includes 25 GemSAFE smart cards and 25 GCR410 serial port readers, and ranges in price from US$1,999-$3,999 depending on services provided.
Gemplus® is the world’s leading provider of conventional and smart card-based solutions. Gemplus sells magnetic stripe cards, memory and microprocessor-based smart cards, smart contactless cards, electronic tags and smart objects. The company designs and markets software, development tools and readers. Gemplus also provides consulting, training and personalization services to deliver the industry’s most comprehensive and flexible card-based solutions to its developers, distributors, partners, and customers.
With sales of over US$585 million in 1997, Gemplus employs more than 4,100 people, in ten manufacturing facilities, five R&D centers and 41 sales and marketing offices located in 27 countries around the world. Founded in 1988, Gemplus has successfully implemented portable and secure smart card-based solutions to simplify applications such as public and wireless communications, financial transactions, loyalty, transportation, education, healthcare, identity, access control, pay TV, electronic commerce, Internet security, and information technology.