Blogger: Mark Diodati
You may have seen that ActivIdentity Corporation will acquire CoreStreet Ltd. Since its de-emphasis of its enterprise single sign-on business (primarily the result of the Protocom acquisition in 2005), ActivIdentity has focused on strong authentication. While ActivIdentity has one-time password solutions, its technological crown jewels are its smart card offerings. Its smart card management system and smart card middleware products have a significant footprint in the US Federal Government.
CoreStreet’s products complement ActivIdentity’s smart card solution. CoreStreet provides a PKI certificate validation solution, which is arguably a requirement for large-scale smart card deployments. CoreStreet also has a handheld device that enables the authentication of Federal agency personal via their PIV smart cards. The device is handy in scenarios where emergency first responders arrive at a disaster site. Finally, CoreStreet offers a solution which enables the PIV card to be used in an unmodified physical access control systems (PACS). It is pure conjecture on my part, but I am guessing that the solution involves hashing or truncating the PIV card’s Card Holder Unique Identifier (CHUID) to make it compatible with Wiegand-based PACS. CoreStreet’s products are aligned with the Federal Government smart card market, which co-incidentally is ActivIdentity’s primary focus. The certificate validation solution is appropriate for large smart card deployments in the enterprise, too.
Overall, the acquisition is a good move for ActivIdentity; it will enable ActivIdentity to market a broader smart card solution to the Federal Government. For customers of both companies, the acquisition provides a single vendor relationship. For more information on PACS and Federal Government smart card initiatives, please see our research documents “Let’s Get Logical: The Convergence of Physical Access Control and Identity Systems” and "U.S. Federal Authentication Programs Making Progress, but Much Work Remains" (subscription required).