Axalto unveils smart card powered by .Net

Axalto this week offered up a smart card based on Microsoft's .Net technology, which could make it easier for corporations adopting .Net for Web services to develop card-based security.

The Cryptoflex .Net card, which can provide two-factor authentication and e-mail encryption based on public-key technology, can be programmed using .Net tools, including Microsoft VisualStudio .Net, says Neville Pattinson, director of business development for Axalto. Until now, Axalto had based its smart cards -- which are basically coprocessors and software on a plastic card -- on either a proprietary operating system or Java.

"Before, (the developer) had to specifically be trained in a Java card environment, which created errors and inefficiencies," Pattinson says. "With the Cryptoflex .Net card, it will be easier to program the server, client and card applications together."

Axalto worked with the software firm Hive Minded to design the .Net card. It took more than a year to have it ready, largely because the .Net smart card footprint required 8K bytes of RAM, more than double the amount used in Java smart cards.

"We had to search for the right chip platform," Pattinson says.

The .Net card, which can hold an X.509 digital certificate and run a variety of cryptographic processes, hasn't yet been implemented in any organizations. In contrast, there are millions of Java-based smart cards in use today.

Microsoft has announced its willingness to be an early adopter in a big way.

The company will swap out the Indala-brand smart cards, now used by more than 55,000 Microsoft employees for remote authentication to the network, to replace them with the Cryptoflex .Net smart cards, says Charles Fitzgerald, Microsoft's general manager of platform strategy.

Fitzgerald says the .Net-based card will also give Microsoft the opportunity to test the smart card in applications other than remote-access authentication.

"With .Net we can put more applications on the card, such as perhaps using it for cafeteria credit for employees," says Fitzgerald, noting that Microsoft will be looking at a range of possibilities for internal use of the Axalto cards next year.

Fitzgerald says Microsoft anticipates developers supporting .Net technology will make use of smart cards in the future. Microsoft began mandating employee use of smart cards for encryption-based, two-factor authentication after a security breach a few years ago involving a hacker break-in traced back to a stolen password.

Smart cards with X.509 digital certificates provide a stronger form of authentication, and Microsoft now issues a smart card to every employee for authenticating identity over the network or encrypting e-mail.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ellen Messmer

Network World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?