Spyrus, Terisa deal will unite smart card, security vendors

Smart card manufacturer Spyrus announced today it plans to acquire Terisa Systems Inc. an Internet security software developer so that it will be able to provide end-to-end security for electronic commerce transactions over the Internet.

The combination of Spyrus best known for its Lynks Privacy Card and Terisa the developer of the SecureWeb Toolkit is good for the government said Burton Tregub vice president of market development at Spyrus.

All Levels Covered

The two companies which will be known as Spyrus once the acquisition becomes final will be able to provide a complete set of standards-based software and hardware tools to enable all levels of security according to Tregub.

"The government has been a leader in understanding security and secure messaging systems " Tregub said. "Our vision is to provide end-to-end portable and personal security that spans hardware and software." The government will be able to take advantage of this he said.

Terisa traditionally targets Internet software providers and provides the underlying security communications protocols specific to payment applications. Meanwhile Spyrus' traditional markets are the government and corporate application developers. Spyrus' Fortezza card is used on the Defense Message System (DMS).

This deal will make Spyrus the leader in implementing smart card security products and Secure Transactions Protocol-based payment card technology and enabling secure Web transactions according to the company.

Future Expansion

Spyrus said it will expand into horizontal markets including payment messaging and electronic data interchange systems and into vertical markets including financial health care and legal. The goal Tregub said is to expand the company's opportunities in the EC market.

"The government itself is one large market [for us] " Tregub said. "The government is putting more agencies on the Internet and payment and messaging systems are all part of that. As the government provides service to the citizen data must be [protected]."

The two companies complement each other according to Francie Mendelsohn senior research consultant at IDC Government.

"This is especially significant with the Department of Defense where [DMS] is concerned but you don't have to be DOD to be concerned about security " Mendelsohn said. "Spyrus has a great deal of experience with the government and the government is a big proponent of encryption."

As the Internet gets used more and more for transactions concerns about data integrity will increase Mendelsohn said.

She added that this acquisition should provide products in response to those concerns.

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