October 10, 2005 02:29 ET

Axalto Introduces Protiva, a Two-Factor Authentication Product Suite; New Authentication Product Suite Protects Network Identities and Information

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands--(CCNMatthews - Oct 10, 2005) -

Directly addressing the security weakness of passwords in enterprises, financial institutions and electronic commerce portals, Axalto today launched Protiva™, a revolutionary two-factor authentication product suite for protecting network identities and information. Protiva protects identities, defends against phishing attacks and takes information system security to the next level. Protiva is a set of products that provides a flexible end-to-end solution to securely establish a user's network identity at home, at work or on the road. Axalto will demonstrate Protiva at the Citrix iForum Global 2005 this week, October 9-12 in Las Vegas.

Two-factor authentication greatly enhances network security by combining something the user has, such as a personal device or a microprocessor card, and something the user knows, such as a PIN code. These elements form a unique combination that someone must possess to connect to the network.

"Password-only systems are not free of cost," said Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Zubin Baben. "Password resets are typically one of the largest drains on help-desk resources. As computer networks store an increasing amount of sensitive information, they have come under the scrutiny of stricter regulations and government mandates pointing in the direction of improving security by deploying stronger authentication and auditing capability as a security best practice. Strong two-factor authentication using devices such as smart cards provides increased security, thereby eliminating the vulnerability of static passwords as the weakest link in the chain of security and the risks caused by reusable passwords that can be easily hacked, guessed, or stolen by unauthorized parties."

The Axalto Protiva suite relies on intelligent microprocessor card technology, which has proven over decades its security robustness, leverage of open standards, multifaceted interoperability and ease of use in massively deployed applications such as banking and mobile telephony. Axalto has now applied this expertise to the problem of managing network identities.

"Trust in identities is critical in today's online world, too critical to continue to depend on such vulnerable mechanisms as simple passwords or static information stored on a network server," said Marvin Tansley, director, Access Business Segment at Axalto. "Financial institutions need to protect both users and business assets. Enterprises want to ensure that employees can securely access company information and networks both locally and remotely. And Web portals need to protect the identities of their online customers. With Protiva, any of these online communities can now easily use the power and convenience of smart card technology to eliminate the vulnerabilities of passwords and create a trusted network environment."

About Axalto

Axalto (EURONEXT:AXL)(EURONEXT:NL0000400653) is the world's leading provider (Gartner 2005, Frost & Sullivan 2004) of microprocessor cards - the key to digital networks - and a major supplier of point-of-sale terminals. Its 4,500 employees, from over 65 nationalities, serve customers in more than 100 countries, with worldwide sales reaching over 3 billion smart cards to date. With a 25-year experience in smart card innovation, the company leads its industry in security technology and open systems.

Axalto creates new generations of products for use in a variety of applications in the telecommunications, finance, retail, transport, entertainment, healthcare, personal identification, information technology and public sector markets. Microprocessor cards provide convenience, security and privacy to public and private services operators, their customers and end users. For more information, please visit

Background Information

The Protiva suite consists of a range of security devices offering multiple authentication methods with various form factors. Organizations deploying Protiva can choose between full-sized smart cards or small "cardlets," which are advanced small microprocessor cards about the size of a postage stamp. Cardlets are what put the power of a smart card in Axalto's Smart Card Enabler (SCE) token devices.

Protiva's card enablers can be used in either stand-alone or connected modes. When used in stand-alone mode, the user simply presses a button on the thumb-sized Protiva authentication SCE. The built-in display then shows an eight digit one-time password, which the user enters directly into the remote network application via keyboard, or via a PDA or telephone keypad.

When the Protiva device is directly connected, typically via USB, the user network identification credential is sent to the authenticating server automatically without manual input. In the connected mode, the Protiva solution provides protection against phishing by detecting fraudulent sites.

Mobile phone SIM cards and EMV smart bank cards are also available under the Protiva platform. Combining Axalto products in this way permits a mobile phone or bank card user to easily use their smart card for a second purpose: to improve their computer security. Since Axalto's proven smart card technology is the core of the new product line, virtually any traditional smart card application is compatible with Protiva including public key infrastructure (PKI), single sign on and contactless physical access.

Axalto's Protiva suite supports internationally recognized standards such as Universal Serial Bus (USB), ISO 7816, Open Platform and Java Cards. In addition Protiva supports the U.S. Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) and Common Criteria certifications. Adherence to recognized standards such as these ensures interoperability, lower costs to implement and maintain, and compatibility with future platforms. Protiva is also compatible with the Open Authentication (OATH) specification for one time password ( Over time, Axalto plans to extend the Protiva suite to other industry authentication standards.

For more information on how you can secure your identity with Protiva, visit

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