Moving into the North American smart card market, security firm Cylink today announced that its patented smart card reader and smart cards will be available in June.
The company also announced a new toolkit called CryptoKit, which lets developers build public key cryptography functions into applications.
Cylink's smart-card technologies came with Algorithmic Research, an Israeli firm it purchased last year. Smart cards are plastic cards the size of a credit card with an embedded chip that can function as tiny computer.
"I believe we will be a leader in smart card technologies," said Fernand Sarrat, Cylink's CEO, who calls the smart card technologies his "crown jewels." Since last year's acquisition of Algorithmic, Cylink has moved from an emphasis on security hardware for private networks to an Internet focus.
PrivateSafe is a patented smart card reader that connects between a PC and its keyboard without an add-in PC board or external power supply. PrivateCard is a smart card based on Siemens technology with a secure operating system from Cylink. A private key and digital signatures are generated on the chip itself, thus protecting those functions from attack via a network or the PC.
PrivateSafe will be priced from $80, with volume discounts reducing the cost to $50 per reader. The PrivateCards will cost $25, with discounts to $10 apiece. Both will be available in June.
CryptoKit is designed to let programmers who aren't cryptographers to build security features such as encryption, authentication, nonrepudiation, and data integrity into their applications. It's designed to make applications "public key aware" and to support a variety of security policies.
In a related announcement, security software developer SynData Technologies said it will use CryptoKit to integrate its SynCrypt encryption software with Cylink's secure extranet software, PrivateWire, for secure email and file encryption.
CryptoKit is one of three Cylink toolkits being released this year. Last month it delivered its Foundation Suite toolkit for implementing security standards of the Internet Engineering Task Force, including Cylink's Diffie-Hellman public key algorithms. By early May, Cylink expects to announce a key recovery toolkit called "CyKey" for companies that want to build key recovery into their security applications.
CryptoKit runs on Windows 95 and NT, with other operating system support to be added by June. It supports Diffie-Hellman and can be used with Cylink's smart-card technologies. Price is $2,000 with a $1 run-time fee in the United States.