SPYRUS, the Internet ID company for secure e-business, announced a strategic development agreement with Visa International enabling SPYRUS to develop Public Key Infrastructure products that support the Open Platform, a comprehensive system architecture for rapid development of globally interoperable smart card systems. SPYRUS and Visa will also work cooperatively in promoting and marketing Open Platform products to Visa member financial institutions.
The agreement is a natural extension of SPYRUS’ smart card and PKI business, which targets the high-assurance auditable requirements of financial risk management operations. By providing comprehensive integration of the installation and operation of the Open Platform smart cards with its Internet Enabling Security (IES) PKI systems, SPYRUS will provide a one-stop solution to Visa members, enabling more rapid, secure and economic deployment of business applications to the members’ customers. SPYRUS, a leading supplier of public key-based products and solutions that provide the critical foundation for secure Internet commerce, has been a primary contributor in defining security specifications for the Open Platform architecture since 1997.
“The Open Platform provides financial institutions with a broad choice of application suppliers so that Visa cardholders can be offered a range of different products and services on their smart cards, such as credit and debit functions, electronic purse, identification, and network and building access,” said Jim Lee, senior vice president, Emerging Technologies, Visa International. “Key to the success of the Open Platform is high-assurance smart card security. SPYRUS, as a leader in PKI and smart card technologies, will be able to offer our member institutions a totally integrated high-assurance solution for Open Platform transactions.”
“Smart cards will become ubiquitous as personal, portable financial services tools across all global institutions,” said Sue Pontius, President and CEO of SPYRUS. “By delivering technology based on the Open Platform, SPYRUS will offer financial institutions the most secure and complete method of integrating smart cards and PKI solutions into their business environment.”
User Security for Multiple Services
Smart cards will allow financial institutions to offer customers secure “anytime, anywhere” access to financial and value-added services. The Open Platform provides Visa member institutions the ability to implement a wide variety of applications, including
— Credit card services,
— Debit services,
— E-purse services, and
— Unique value-added services such as mass-transit applications, loyalty programs, and identification services.
The Open Platform eases development of smart card solutions by providing a rapid development environment, including card specifications, terminal specifications, and workbench tools. For example, Visa Cash will allow financial institutions to pre-load money onto a customer’s smart card; the smart card can then be used for transactions such as pay phone calls, bridge tolls, and Internet purchases, with the amount being debited from the cash stored on the card. To protect a customer’s money, the smart cards and the supporting PKI system require the highest level of secure authentication and authorization using digital signatures and certificate management technologies. SPYRUS delivers these capabilities to VISA member institutions with its IES solution.
High-Assurance SPYRUS Smart Card Solutions
With delivery scheduled for the third quarter of this year, Visa member institutions will also be able to use SPYRUS’ plug-and-play Portico product solution for the Open Platform. This bundled product application, which extends the ease and convenience of installation and integration of the smart cards with the PKI system, includes SPYRUS Personal Access Readers for secure Personal Identification Number (PIN) entry on Open Platform-based smart cards, and browser-based software components to securely support Internet transactions.
SPYRUS’ integrated Open Platform solution is also complemented by the SPYRUS SmartStation, an IES system component that combines Open Platform smart card issuance and management with digital certificate registration. To provide the most secure environment for deploying Open Platform smart cards, the SmartStation securely loads each customer’s digital identity onto the smart card without PC or browser software involvement. The Portico bundle adds to these features by providing a stand-alone Personal Access Reader that securely authenticates a user’s identity before communicating with the Internet browser.
“SPYRUS IES support of Open Platform smart cards with the SmartStation and Portico products will allow financial institutions to deploy the highest level of personal and portable security in the industry,” Pontius noted. “We will offer a single vendor responsibility for Visa members wanting to rapidly deploy highly secure smart card system solutions and the enabling PKI system solutions to enforce a robust chain-of -trust to all of their customers.”
SPYRUS, the Internet ID Company, is the leader in securing the Internet as a medium of exchange for valued data and transactions for businesses and their customers, and for federal and local governments. SPYRUS’ public key system solutions are designed for organizations that have unique business policy management requirements, valued digital information content and transactions to protect and operations that require auditable risk/liability management. SPYRUS Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) solutions have been deployed in health care, utilities, government, financial and law enforcement markets, with operational systems scalable to millions of users worldwide.
The company’s flagship product line is the SYRUS Internet Enabling Security (IES) solution. SPYRUS IES is an integrated public key product suite comprised of its SPYRUS PKI, Rosetta smart cards, PAR smart card readers, cryptographic tool kits and professional services. The SPYRUS IES provides timely and cost-effective deployments with customizable public key solutions to meet unique customer and industry requirements.
SPYRUS, Inc. is headquartered in Santa Clara, California, with offices across the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia.
SPYRUS has recently been named in the latest Deloitte & Touche “Technology Fast 500” technology growth company list. For more about SPYRUS and its public key system solutions, please visit our web site at [www.spyrus.com].