GCN Insider | HSPD-12 with a single-sign-on twist

TRENDS & TECHNOLOGIES that affect the way government does IT

Single sign-on is one of those security technologies that makes perfect sense but always seems to play second fiddle to more pressing concerns. Maybe if it were easier to set up, or were better integrated with other authentication solutions, single sign-on wouldn't be such an afterthought.

At least some of that thinking was behind ActivIdentity Inc.'s new SecureLogin 6.0. You might know the Fremont, Calif.-based ActivIdentity as ActivCard. The company changed its name in February, in part because it never really sold smart cards, said Ed MacBeth, ActivIdentity's senior vice president of business development. But ActivCard's (ActivIdentity's) software is behind the Defense Department's Common Access Card and other high-profile government smart-card deployments.

MacBeth told GCN that SecureLogin 6.0 is the first offspring of the company's August 2005 acquisition of Protocom Development Systems. So what we have now is a single-sign-on solution with open support for multiple smart cards built in, which could be significant for agencies looking to comply with Homeland Security Presidential Directive-12 and set the stage for logical access control.

ActivIdentity previously sold its own single-sign-on solution. So what makes SecureLogin 6.0 better? Among other things, MacBeth said, Protocom brought application support to the table. And app support is a major consideration in single-sign-on deployment. According to MacBeth, the new product will support more than 70 programs out of the box and come with powerful scripting tools for supporting other applications. It uses FIPS-140-2-certified cryptography for protecting credentials and works with Microsoft Active Directory, Novell eDirectory and other LDAP-compliant directories. It can also sit on top of virtually any identity management or physical-access solution, MacBeth said. Pricing starts at $79 per user.

About the Authors

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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