Veridicom have unveiled a PC peripheral that combines a smartcard reader with a fingerprint sensor into a single device no larger than a computer mouse.
The compact Veridicom 5thSense Combo Peripheral is said to make it convenient to use multi-factor authentication with a smartcard by replacing passwords and Personal Identification Numbers with simple ‘just-press-here’ fingerprint authentication.
Veridicom say the 5thSense Combo peripheral is designed to provide an increased level of security to today’s digital certificate technology. Until now, the primary protection against theft or fraud involving digital signatures has been a PIN or a password used to access that private key.
Using the 5thSense Combo peripheral, certificates and private keys stored on a user’s smartcard can only be released to access data or authorise a transaction if the owner authenticates themselves with their fingerprint.
Veridicom’s biometric security approach provides a layer of authentication to smartcard operations for preventing unauthorised access to data stored on the cards themselves or on servers, desktops, workstations or laptops.
Veridicom say the 5thSense Combo peripheral was engineered for companies and organisations that require strong but easy-to-use security against the rising sophistication of hackers and inside data theft.
Smartcard standards supported by the 5thSense Combo peripheral include ISO 7816-3, PC/SC (Microsoft), EMV3.0 and OCF (IBM OpenCard Framework).
The vertical design of the smartcard reader allows the user to leave the card in place so that fingerprint sensing can take place without holding the card. To logon, users have to place their fingertip on the built-in, solid-state fingerprint sensor chip.
After a high-resolution image of the fingerprint is accessed, a geometric pattern or template is extracted, based on the unique ridges and valleys of each fingerprint. The fingerprint is erased and the scanned template is matched with a stored template before the user can gain access to information on the card.
Veridicom add that each fingerprint image file is scrambled every time a fingerprint pattern is acquired and then transferred to the host computer system for decryption operations.
On the web at <a href=’http://www. veridicom.com/’>www.veridicom.com</a>.