CryptoCard lightens security burden

Product review: CryptoCard Corp.'s Secure Password Technology offers a low-cost and easy way to lighten the security burden on administrators and end users

The weakest link in any security system is generally the people. Employees may tape passwords to monitors or leave their laptops behind on an airplane, and administrators may neglect to update passwords or disable network access for stolen devices.

As long as people are involved, there is no foolproof security system. But CryptoCard Corp.'s Secure Password Technology offers a low-cost and relatively easy way to lighten the security burden on both administrators and end users.

CryptoCard's token-based security system is as easy for end users to employ as an automated teller machine card. And in fact one of its options is to use ATM-like smart cards as the CryptoCard token. Insert the smart card into the smart card reader, enter your personal identification number when prompted and you're in. CryptoCard's PC Card works in a similar way.

But CryptoCard offers other options for accessing the system. Assuming the client software has been installed on a computer, you can employ a hardware authentication token using a keypad for entering PIN information. Alternatively, a key chain device can be used to generate a one-time password for accessing the system. To get one, simply press the button on the token and then enter your PIN for authentication by the CryptoCard server.

These hardware tokens and the smart cards all allow users to access the network from any computer. Of course, if you were using a smart card or a PC Card, the appropriate readers would have to be attached to the computer.

A final option is the software token. Especially useful for personal digital assistants, software tokens can also be used on desktop computers. The one major limitation is that users can access the system only from specific computers they are authorized to use.

The biggest advantage of the CryptoCard system over other token-based systems is that no user passwords are actually transmitted over the network. Instead, the user's PIN activates communication between the local client and the authentication server without passwords ever being transmitted — and potentially stolen during transit — to the server.

That also means end users aren't burdened with the need to frequently change passwords. By default, three failed attempts to enter the correct PIN will result in the token being deactivated and made unusable, but this number can be changed by the administrator.

We also liked that the CryptoCard system can be integrated with other resources. Available software allows CryptoCard to be used for controlling access not only to local-area networks, but also to virtual private networks (Cisco Systems Inc., CheckPoint Software Technologies Ltd., Nortel Networks Ltd. and NetScreen Technologies Inc. VPNs) and Web servers (Microsoft Corp.'s Internet Information Server, Apache Software Foundation's Apache Server, Sun Microsystems Inc.'s Open Network Environment, Citrix Systems Inc.'s NFuse and Active Server Pages/Java Server Pages-based servers). You can even use smart card tokens with other security systems to control access to door locks and other security devices.

We found CryptoCard's administrative module a bit tricky to set up, mostly due to sketchy documentation. But once installed, the module was easy to use. Administrators will find a simple, drag-and-drop interface for managing and tracking token distribution, and the module also allows you to group users, thus making it easier to implement access-based security policies.

If you don't have a Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service server installed, you can use the bundled easyRADIUS Server Module. If you're already using Cisco's Secure Access Control Server, Funk Software Inc.'s Steel Belted RADIUS or Microsoft's Internet Authentication Service, CryptoCard will simply integrate with your existing RADIUS server.

REPORT CARD

CryptoCard Secure Password Technology

Grade: A-

CryptoCard Corp.

(800) 307-7042

www.cryptocard.com

CryptoCard's back-end server, CryptoAdmin, starts at $2,500 for 100 users, and clients (software, key chain token, or smart card and reader) run from $35 to $90.

CryptoCard offers a welcome and easy-to-implement additional level of security for protecting equipment and data.

We installed CryptoCard's administrative module on a Hewlett-Packard Co. Compaq ProLiant ML350 with dual Intel Corp. Xeon 2.2 GHz processors and 256M of system memory running Microsoft Corp. Windows 2000 Server. We tested client software and tokens with an HP Workstation xw5000, a Compaq Evo desktop and a Toshiba America Information Systems Inc. Portege 2010 notebook.

NEXT STORY: Sorting out past service credit

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.