H-P introduces smart cards solution geared to government

Included in Hewlett-Packard's launch today of a dozen products and services is one specifically for government, a new Common Access Card solution required that federal agencies will need to issue to comply with Bush administration directives on homeland security.

Federal employees can use the H-P Common Access Card solution to authenticate their access to government networks and for secure printing and imaging solutions, as required by Homeland Security Presidential Directive-12. It will be available in the United States in July and elsewhere later in the year, according to H-P.

The Department of Defense has already issued more than 10 million CACs to employees and contractors, but the federal government will buy many more millions of the cards as their use spreads to civilian agencies. Under HSPD-12, federal agencies had until last October to demonstrate the capability for issuing CACs and then several years to gradually phase in the deployment and use of CACs.

Security features of the H-P CAC include mandatory user identification, physical and logical access capabilities, public key infrastructure authentication, encryption and digital signing capabilities, according to the Palo Alto-based company. H-P will offer the CACs as an imaging and printing solution that includes the cards, software and professional services, H-P said.

With H-P's smart card services, customers provide their own cards, which H-P supplements with smart card-enabled printers, software and services.

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