Recently, I had a mid-sized municipal government ask us to help them discover different technologies for strong authentication. The great part about this project was that they were very keen to find out how the actual products worked – as a result we were immersed in gadgets and slick software for over two months.
The purpose of the project wasn’t to pick a solution or prepare requirements for a future tender. Rather it was to enable the client to experiment with different solutions – and to validate the claims of assorted strong authentication vendors. Another interesting aspect of this work was the inclusion of physical building access and transit entitlements, with the goal of uncovering what convergence options there were for this family of technology.
We had a solid lineup of vendors on our test bed: Entrust, Secure Computing, HID, Aladdin and RF Ideas. Operating systems included Microsoft Server 2003 and Red Hat Linux. We looked at USB tokens, fobs, grid cards, SMS messaging, proximity cards, smart cards and combination cards. Much fun was had…
Over the next few weeks I’ll share some of the learnings of this project, but the first finding was this: Authentication, physical access and entitlement technologies can be converged into single solutions.