OMNIKEY CardMan® 3121 Smart Card Reader Now FIPS 201 Approved

Walluf, Germany ­ Oct 06, 2006 ­ OMNIKEY, one of the world's leading manufacturers of innovative smart card readers, announces that its PC-linked contact smart card reader CardMan® 3121 has achieved FIPS 201 approval. Other OMNIKEY reader models have been submitted to the FIPS 201 Evaluation Program Lab.

Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) 201 is a United States Federal standard that specifies Personal Identity Verification (PIV) requirements for Federal employees and contractors. The standard was drawn up by the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) Computer Security Division in response to Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD-12).

The OMNIKEY CardMan® 3121 desktop smart card reader is thus approved for use by US Federal Agencies and contractors for the deployment of secure identification and authentication solutions as required by HSPD-12. Approval by the US Government's FIPS 201 Evaluation Program underscores the reputation for high quality, speed and reliability of OMNIKEY's smart card readers, already proven in numerous projects.

This FIPS 201 approval, along with those that will soon follow for OMNIKEY's broad range of PC-linked smart card readers, represent a strategic factor for further growth in the United States. In fact, the FIPS 201 directive is the driving force behind smart card adoption in the US, as Federal agencies, but also a large number of Federal contractors, rush to comply with the US Government's policies for secure physical and logical access.

At the moment, the US PIV program represents the largest smart card project in the United States. The Smart Card Interagency Advisory Board has indicated that to comply with FIPS 201 PIV II program, US Government agencies should use smart card technology.

The FIPS 201 specification signals a significant change in how the US Federal Government manages physical access control and information security.
One of the key topics of the directive is the convergence of physical access to buildings and logical access to IT networks. OMNIKEY identified this trend early on and has developed a broad portfolio of PC-linked contact and contactless smart card readers ideally suited for the convergent security solutions of the future.

OMNIKEY, one of the world's leading manufacturers of innovative smart card readers, offers the most diversified product portfolio available on the market today. OMNIKEY's smart card readers for PCs can be utilized by any application including logical access control, digital signature, WLAN authentication, secure banking and online transactions, loyalty programs, and healthcare solutions.

OMNIKEY, headquartered in Walluf, near Wiesbaden (Germany), is part of ASSA ABLOY Identification Technologies (ITG). OMNIKEY´s North American headquarters reside in Irvine, California with technical support in Atlanta, Georgia. The Asia Pacific operation is located in Hong Kong. Design, production management, and quality control of OMNIKEY's products are carried out in the company's two R&D centers in Linz, Austria and Erfurt, Germany.OMNIKEY readers are distributed worldwide through a global network of partners, including value added resellers, system integrators, and OEMs. For further information please visit .

About FIPS:
FIPS 201 (Federal Information Processing Standards Publication 201) is a United States federal standard that specifies Personal Identity Verification (or PIV) requirements for Federal employees and contractors. In response to HSPD-12, the Computer Security Division initiated a new program for improving the identification and authentication of Federal employees and contractors for access to Federal facilities and information systems. Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 201, entitled Personal Identity Verification of Federal Employees and Contractors was developed to satisfy the technical requirements of HSPD 12, approved by the Secretary of Commerce, and issued on February 25, 2005. Policy for a Common Identification Standard for Federal Employees and Contractors FIPS 201 are required for US Federal Agencies but do not apply to US national security systems.

The SmartCard Interagency Advisory Board has indicated that to comply with FIPS 201 PIV II US government agencies should use Smart card technology.

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