Online Security Threats Highlight Need For Smart Card Based Authentication Systems

Online Security Threats Highlight Need For Smart Card Based Authentication Systems

Smart Card Alliance details benefits at SecurityWeek Brazil, Cards Brazil

Sao Paulo, Brazil, March 22, 2006–The news reports have become an ever-increasing drumbeat: a hacker somehow breaches the computer network of yet another bank, credit firm or retailer, gaining access to vital data from thousands of customer accounts. Time and again, the result is consumer mistrust as identities are stolen and organizations scramble to limit the damage.

Since identity touches on many everyday activities, including air travel, banking, driving, obtaining medical services and accessing buildings and computer systems, it is crucial that identity information be kept secure in order to prevent crimes that can cause sizeable security risks and financial losses.

Fortunately, the technology behind today’s smart cards–portable credit card-sized devices with embedded microprocessor chips–allow them to store identity information in a highly secure fashion. Smart cards can be used in secure identity systems to protect an individual’s personal information and to provide strong authentication of users seeking access to online resources.

Indeed, smart card adoption is growing rapidly in both the public and private sectors, as companies and agencies look to strengthen their information security beyond increasingly inadequate username/password systems, while finding ways to converge authentication and access control for both computers and physical locations onto a single, secure credential.

The Smart Card Alliance, a nonprofit industry association promoting the use of smart cards, will be a participating sponsor and exhibitor at two major industry trade shows in Sao Paulo, Brazil, that will highlight the latest technologies and solutions aimed at securing online information and making payment transactions faster and more secure.

“Businesses and agencies can no longer afford to trust the security of vital identity data to usernames and passwords only, which are increasingly vulnerable to attack from sophisticated fraud artists, as evidenced by many high-profile and costly network breaches in recent years,” said Edgar Betts, associate director, Smart Card Alliance Latin America. “At both SecurityWeek and Cards Brazil, the Smart Card Alliance will demonstrate how the latest technologies are being implemented to ensure that only authorized personnel can gain access to systems and facilities.”

In consecutive weeks in March and April, the Smart Card Alliance will play an active part in two major industry events that will highlight the latest in identity authentication and security technologies, and their implementations in Latin America and elswhere:

  • SecurityWeek Brazil 2006, March 27-29, TransAmerica Expo Center: The Smart Card Alliance will hold a workshop entitled “Smart Cards in IT Security.” This session will look at how smart card technology serves as a portable, secure container for identity credentials that are cost effective, scalable and more secure than traditional passwords. The association will also sponsor a smart card demonstration along with a member firm, Axalto, the world’s leading provider of microprocessor cards.

  • Cards Brazil 2006, April 3-5, Frei Caneca Convention Center: The Smart Card Alliance is a sponsor and exhibitor at this event, and will present a session entitled “Smart Cards in the Transit Industry.” This session will highlight ways smart cards are being used for secure payment in mass transit systems around the world.

About the Smart Card Alliance

The Smart Card Alliance is a not-for-profit, multi-industry association working to stimulate the understanding, adoption, use and widespread application of smart card technology. Through specific projects such as education programs, market research, advocacy, industry relations and open forums, the Alliance keeps its members connected to industry leaders and innovative thought. The Alliance is the single industry voice for smart cards, leading industry discussion on the impact and value of smart cards in the U.S. and Latin America. For more information please visit http://www.securetechalliance.org.