Smart card accepted at portal

Pulsar Data Systems Inc. on Tuesday unveiled its secure e-commerce portal,, which uses smart cards to enable agencies to purchase information technology products.

Pulsar, a wholly owned subsidiary of Internet data security company Litronic Inc., announced the smart card feature, which is free for government users, at the E-Gov trade show in Washington, D.C.

"The agencies get a free card reader and smart cards [that] take them directly to our Web site," said Bob Tompkins, director of sales at Lanham, Md.-based Pulsar Data. "Then they enter a [personal identification number] for a second level of security and can begin making purchases. The smart cards provide sender and receiver verification."

The smart cards have two administrative levels, according to Derrick Minor, director of IT services:

* Agency administrators, such as the chief information officer or procurement chief, have access to all orders their office makes from Pulsar.

* Individual users can access only their personal shopping carts.

Minor said agencies can have the readers and smart cards in their offices within one day of requesting them, and future plans for the site include an online order tracking function that should be available within 30 days.

Pulsar Data's current federal customers include the Justice Department, the Army, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the National Institutes of Health and GSA.

"Communication and transaction security has always been important for government entities wielding multibillion-dollar budgets," said Bill Blink, information resource manager and former security officer at the Army's Rock Island Arsenal. " provides a vehicle for us to maximize purchase control with the Internet and smart technology for optimum efficiency and cost effectiveness."

Pulsar also announced Tuesday that it would be supplying Dell Computer Corp. with Litronic's smart card technology. In an open-ended contract, Pulsar will distribute smart cards, readers and software directly to Dell. The company will incorporate smart card capabilities into selected systems that Dell intends to begin shipping this month.


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