The Pipeline

Not just a fair-weather friend
We want our friends to stick with us through all kinds of weather, and that should also apply to our security equipment.

Although standard locks can withstand exposure to all types of weather, sensitive equipment such as biometric fingerprint readers usually cannot. That’s why Saflink has introduced a product called SureAccess, an all-weather fingerprint and smart card reader.

“It can sit out in the elements and be fully functional,” said Mike Frederickson, director of hardware development at Saflink.

SureAccess offers multifactor authentication because it requires users to present a smart card and a live fingerprint that must match the information stored on the card. Plus, the product offers dynamic threat protection, allowing organizations to strengthen access requirements in response to elevated threat levels.

Unlike many fingerprint readers that use proprietary algorithms to convert fingerprint scans into templates, SureAccess uses a standard algorithm that allows interoperability with other products. This interoperability, combined with remote administration capabilities, allows the product to integrate with existing physical access control systems.

The product meets the requirements of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Federal Information Processing Standard 201, also known as Personal Identity Verification of Federal Employees and Contractors.

SureAccess also supports the Transportation Security Administration’s Transportation Worker Identification Credential program, making it ideal for use at airports and seaports.

To access a site, a worker would place the contactless smart card near the reader and touch a sensor to scan and encode a fingerprint. The reader would then verify the worker’s identity and a central system would authenticate the request, opening the security gate or door.

No muss, no fuss
Implementing a single sign-on solution just got a lot easier thanks to SSO 3.0, a new product from MetaPass. According to the company, this is the first enterprise single sign-on solution that works out of the box on multiple platforms without requiring programmers to write custom software or scripts.

Single sign-on products simplify the log-in process by allowing users to enter just one password to access multiple applications. However, implementation is difficult because such vendors usually must write a separate script for each application users want to access, which is a long and painful process.

The scripts also require a lot of maintenance because they don’t always work properly when applications and operating systems are updated. In addition, not all applications are scriptable. MetaPass simplifies the process by using visual scripting technology, which lets customers create scripts by drawing diagrams. They don’t need to write a single line of code.

These visual scripts can be as complex as necessary and are independent of the application’s programming language or the operating system. As a result, MetaPass boasts robust compatibility and virtually no vulnerability to changes.

MetaPass can automatically log users on to Microsoft Windows or Linux applications programmed in any language, Web sites using any browser in any language and any terminal-based application.

2014 Rising Star Awards

Help us find the next generation of leaders in federal IT.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above