Honeywell, Novell take FIPS solutions commercial

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Thursday, March 1, 2007

DALLAS--Here at TechSec Solutions, Honeywell and Novell are co-promoting a commercial version of the HSPD-12/FIPS 201 solution the companies presented at last year's ASIS convention. By also employing products by Imageware and ActivIdentity, the companies have developed a browser-based solution that allows for integration of physical and logical access on one smart card, as mandated by FIPS 201, but with a series of options that allow end users to dictate the security, approval process and system integration of the card issuance process.
Baber Amin, product manager with Novell, said the collaboration with Honeywell began with the government application, but expanded due to customer demand. "As the processes came together," Amin said, "it didn't make sense to do a point solution just for government."
Also, "there was virtually no overlap" in how the companies went to market, said Beth Thomas, senior product manager for convergence security solutions at Honeywell. "If we had just developed it ourselves, it wouldn't have been as flexible or adaptable." The result, Thomas said, is "a solid solution, for both enterprise customers and smaller customers. It's not just the minimum of what they're asking for."
Amin posited that other FIPS 201 solutions have been created "just to cover that space, just for that context." However, he said the Novell-Honeywell solution is adaptable to many environments because it is policy based.
"End users can just change the policy," he said, "so it can be deployed in a very tightly managed environment or with a much looser system, but both can have the benefit of convergence."