Athena Introduces Unified Physical and Logical Access Badge

Nov. 29, 2004
ASECard Unified Badge allows multiple physical and logical access credentials to be saved on a single card

Tokyo, Japan -- Athena Smartcard Solutions, a developer and manufacturer of enterprise security solutions based on smart card technology, unveiled an integrated enterprise security solution that combines protection for physical premises and logical data access.

Athena's new technology initiative connects physical and logical enterprise security with existing network directory systems, which results in faster and lower-cost deployment, easier management and decreased administration requirements.

"We believe that there is a strong demand for a comprehensive system that links physical and logical access. Athena CMS Card Management System, merged with ASE Card Unified Badge, is the first complete solution that combines all access rights on a single card", explains Masaru Kosaka, Chairman of Athena Smartcard Solutions. "By combining physical and logical access control onto one card platform, businesses stand to realize the maximum benefits in cost savings, ease of use and increased security."

ASECard Unified Badge emerged as a result of the requirement of a single secure credential platform for logical and physical access as well as the need for protection of private information. An ID credential platform with contact and contactless smart card technologies integrated into the corporate ID badge, allowing multiple access systems to be implemented with the highest levels of security.

Athena's new solution is designed to enable a rapid and low-cost enterprise deployment by eliminating the need to spend time and money on separate issuing and enrollment systems and on-site integration. Combining physical and logical access card management with existing enterprise directory services can also dramatically ease IT management.

ASECard Unified Badge is offered with the Athena CMS Card Management System and links IT and physical access databases. Employees will now be able to make one visit to one department and receive an ID badge containing all the required data and information. The CMS database is able to indicate which access privileges are to be assigned. The corporate ID management system can verify the CMS database and allot the required passwords and certificates. A digital photo and personal data can be added. With this information, a blank card can be inserted into the badge printer, all required information can be downloaded onto the card, and the card can be initialized and printed. The employee receives the badge within minutes and starts working with it immediately.

The ASECard Unified Badge has the capabilities of holding a picture ID and other printed identifiers, including the cardholder's signature, fingerprint or other biometric identifiers, as well as a magnetic "swipe" strip.

ASECard Unified Badge provides several security-level options ranging from simple access control to complex data encryption. For example, employees can enter controlled buildings by passing their smart-card badges in front of a reader and use the stored keys on their smart cards to log on to networks or send encrypted e-mail messages.

The ASECard Unified Badge supports two communication interfaces and a programmable ASECard Crypto chip that is used with a card reader to authenticate the cardholder to computers and data. The contactless chip (ISO 14443) is used for access to facilities and building.

Athena has successfully deployed the new smart card solution for the largest GSM operator in Israel and is currently in the process of installing the new solution with numerous of contracts with governments and large enterprises.