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BlackBerry Smart Card Reader Gets Advanced Security Certification

Research In Motion announced today that its BlackBerry Smart Card Reader has achieved FIPS 140-2 Certification Level 3.

Research In Motion announced today that its BlackBerry Smart Card Reader has achieved FIPS 140-2 Certification Level 3.

BlackBerry Smart Card Reader The BlackBerry Smart Card Reader helps organizations eliminate unauthorized access to unlocked computers and BlackBerry smartphones. Instead of inserting the smart card into a stationary reader or peripheral attachment, users insert a smart card into a lightweight reader and wear it on a lanyard as a two-factor authentication device, causing smartphones and computers to lock when the user is not in proximity.

Smart cards support security programs like the U.S. Department of Defense’s Common Access Card (CAC) program and the Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD-12) which calls for a mandatory, government-wide standard for secure and reliable forms of identification issued by the federal government to its employees and to the employees of federal contractors. FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standard) certifications are assigned by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Related Resource: A Practical Approach to Authentication in an Evolving Enterprise Environment

“Our customers value the robust security provided with BlackBerry products and services and smart card readers are particularly important within the government sector,” said Scott Totzke, Senior Vice President, BlackBerry Security at Research In Motion.

The BlackBerry Smart Card Reader is designed to work with personal identification cards issued by government organizations or other high-security organizations.

FIPS 140-2 level 3 certification of the BlackBerry Smart Card Reader also verifies advanced security features of the smart card reader itself, such as tamper evidence and self destruction of critical security parameters upon device breach. When used with the BlackBerry Enterprise Solution, the BlackBerry Smart Card Reader supports advanced security features to help meet IT and public sector requirements, including:

• AES-256 encryption

• FIPS 140-2 validated encryption module

• S/MIME support Wireless IT policy enforcement on smartphones

In July, RIM announced that its BlackBerry Playbook had received FIPS 140-2 certification, making it the first tablet certified for deployment within U.S. federal government agencies.

Security Resource: A Practical Approach to Authentication in an Evolving Enterprise Environment

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