Pegasus rides CryptoCard wings

A government reseller may juggle dozens of products, but Pegasus Technologies' business formula relies on one brand.

Pegasus launched in 1998 as a security specialist, offering policy analysis and intrusion-detection services. Eventually, managers decided the company should also carry a product, one that would set it apart from firms offering firewalls and other typical security fare.

While searching for a suitable product, the Media, Pa.-based company encountered CryptoCard at a trade show. The initial meeting among the companies' executives took place in late 2003. By March 2004, Pegasus emerged as a CryptoCard reseller. CryptoCard, based in Canada, offers an identity management solution based on two-factor authentication.

A year into the relationship, Pegasus has completed 35 to 50 CryptoCard installations, said Matt Tucker, Pegasus' vice president of sales. About 40 percent of those are in the public sector. The reseller's CryptoCard customers include the Defense Department and the Lower Colorado River Authority in Austin, Texas.

Pegasus continues to offer intrusion detection and policy analysis, but those services no longer constitute the company’s core business. "For the most part, we really focus on CryptoCard sales and the support and installation surrounding it," Tucker said.

Pegasus' involvement with CryptoCard extends to product development. Two Pegasus engineers are part of CryptoCard’s advisory board, providing feedback from clients.

Tucker said this level of participation provides a deep understanding of the technology. He contrasts this approach with the alternative: representing a range of products and having every sales person know a little bit about each.

"We don't have a menu," Tucker said. "We have one product."

A CryptoCard solution includes Crypto-Server, an authentication and token management component. Crypto-Server is available in Linux, Apple Computer's Mac OS X Server and Microsoft Windows 2000/2003 Server. CryptoCard makes a range of tokens that can be used in conjunction with Crypto-Server. Token types include USB and smart card. CryptoKit, meanwhile, lets developers deploy CryptoCard authentication in custom application settings.

Moore is a freelance writer based in Syracuse, N.Y.


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