Bioscrypt and ASSA Abloy Partnership Points Toward Security Convergence

Movement begins to take shape as smart cards go from the facility doors to the corporate network


Three of the bigger names in access control are coming together for an end-to-end solution that would encompass both physical access control and network access control.

Bioscrypt, along with HID Corporation and card reader company Omnikey have partnered to create a joint solution relying on Bioscrypt's VeriSoft Access Manager.

The partnership ties in Omnikey's smart card readers, HID's iClass smart cards and Bioscrypt's software for a solution that can not only manage computer and network access control, but which can also be seamlessly used to control physical access to the facility.

According to Bioscrypt's Director of Corporate Development Matt Bogart, the process of creating this integrated solution started with Bioscrypt's acquisition of Cognizance earlier in 2005. Bioscrypt, which had biometrics at its core, was able to bring together the company's earlier work with Assa Abloy Group's HID (which also includes Omnikey) with Cognizance's identity access management platform.

Bogart explains that the result was the Verisoft system, which not only controls access to the network, but which also can be an "invisible" tool to control access to different levels of essential corporate applications.

The partnership between HID, Bioscrypt and Omnikey is yet another item on the list of signs that convergence in the security industry is coming. While Bioscrypt's Bogart says process of converging physical and IT is still in the early stages, he sees a growing demand for converged applications.

"For a long time we focused on educating people that you can do more than physical access control," he said. "And now people are now coming to us and seeing if we can do more for them than we could when we were just doing physical access."

Now, says Bogart, people are beginning to understand the value of relying on a unified card and biometrics rather than depending on multiple cards for physical and access control and a litany of unsecured passwords.

But until that convergence in access control fully occurs, notes Bogart, solutions like the one his company is providing -- which supports biometrics, smart cards, prox cards, passwords, tokens and Trusted Platform Modules (TPMs) -- will still have to be cleared in a two-step process that looks at both physical and IT security, with final OK being given by the IT side of the house.