Research In Motion (RIM) today announced enhancements to the BlackBerry Smart Card Reader software that will allow the smart card reader to facilitate controlled access over a Bluetooth connection to a PC running Microsoft Windows XP (SP2 or higher).
The BlackBerry Smart Card Reader features a lightweight, wearable design. It supports the ISO 7816 specification for smart cards, including support for Department of Defense Common Access Cards (CACs) and the DataKey/Safenet 330 cards. The BlackBerry Smart Card Reader can utilize the embedded security credentials of a smart card to provide two-factor authenticated access via Bluetooth to both BlackBerry handsets and PCs.
"The BlackBerry Smart Card Reader allows customers to leverage their existing investment in smart card security," said Scott Totzke, Director, Global Security Group, Research In Motion. "It builds upon the security, flexibility and mobility of the BlackBerry platform and provides users with a single, convenient solution that enables controlled access for both BlackBerry handsets as well as PCs."
Key benefits of the BlackBerry Smart Card Reader include:
- Prevention of Unauthorized Access - Once "paired" with a PC or BlackBerry handset, the BlackBerry Smart Card Reader runs its authentication session over a secure Bluetooth connection, which automatically locks the PC or BlackBerry handset if the reader and the paired device fall "out of range". Ranges can be set by IT policy controls for proximity as close as 5 feet.
- Convenience - The BlackBerry Smart Card Reader provides users with the convenience of a single reader to control access to BlackBerry handsets and PCs. It is a slim, compact (4.06" x 2.3" x 0.81") and light (2.6 oz) peripheral that features long battery life, uses the same USB charger as a BlackBerry handset, and can be conveniently worn on a lanyard. A user simply inserts their smart card into the reader and provides their login credentials on the "paired" PC or BlackBerry handset to initiate access.
- S/MIME Support - The BlackBerry Smart Card Reader works with certificates on smart cards to leverage an organization's S/MIME infrastructure in conjunction with Microsoft Exchange or IBM Lotus Domino. It allows employees to digitally sign and encrypt messages from either their BlackBerry handset or a PC, providing sender-to-recipient security for messages that would otherwise travel across the Internet as open and readable text.
- Advanced Security Features - The BlackBerry Smart Card Reader, together with the BlackBerry Enterprise Solution, supports advanced security to meet IT requirements in corporate and public sectors, featuring:
* An AES-256 encryption overlay for Bluetooth
* A FIPS 140-2 validated encryption module
* Coverity Certification for Quality Code Level 2 and Secure Code Level 2
* IT policy controls for enforcing usage on BlackBerry handsets or PCs
* The ability to wirelessly manage security keys on BlackBerry Smart Card Readers through the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (version 4.0.2 or higher)
- Compliance - The BlackBerry Smart Card Reader can be used to comply with various government and corporate security requirements for smart cards. For example, the use of the BlackBerry Smart Card Reader with BlackBerry handsets has been approved for use by the US Department of Defense.