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ActivCard Gets Physical (Security) with Linux - page 4

If This Had Been an Actual Emergency

  • June 26, 2003
  • By Brian Proffitt

Enterprises are starting to learn that smart cards can do more than just safeguard PCs from being accessed. With their flexibility and ActivCard's middleware, they can also handle network login, e-mail encrypting signatures, and secure Web site access.

ActivCard's basic security premise uses a two-factor identification system, meaning that both the card and a PIN (or some other identifying marker) have to be used, which means that card theft should not be a major concern.

There is, of course, a money angle to all of this as well. Smart cards can also provide serious savings from reduced TCO and lowered password management and help desk costs. Less time and attention will be spent on password and security management, so costs should come down--and not just chump change, either.

"IT buyers using tokens and smart card systems are reaping more than $72 in labor savings per [user] account, each year," according to Jim Hurley, VP of security and privacy at Aberdeen Group. "For an enterprise with 500 accounts this translates into more than $36,000 per year, and with 5,000 accounts the savings is more than $360,000 per year."

Security in the enterprise is a growing concern, and the slow but steady rise of Linux in the data center and the enterprise environments need no longer be a concern, in terms of physical security.

Like all systems administrators in these environments, having one less thing on the plate will surely be welcome.

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