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Servers to support ID security

Netscape is boosting security on its Web servers by adding hardware token capabilities to verify users.

Netscape Communications (NSCP) today anounced that it is boosting security on its Web server software by adding hardware token capabilities from Security Dynamics Technologies (SDTI) to verify users.

Netscape's Enterprise and FastTrack Web servers will support Security Dynamic's WebID authentication technology, allowing network managers to use Security Dynamics' SecurID tokens to check the identities of users.

SecurID tokens differ from smart cards but are likewise the size of a credit card. The tokens require a valid user ID, personal identification number (PIN), and a unique, randomly generated passcode from the SecurID token in order to log in. That "two-factor" authentication offers stronger security than a simple password, which can be stolen, guessed, or cracked.

Separately, the powers behind the Network Computer specification today specified a standard for smart cards, which will give NC users access to their data on networks linked to NCs. That announcement is being driven by Network Computer Incorporated, Oracle's wholly owned subsidiary, and also involves IBM, Sun Microsystems, and Netscape.

Security Dynamics' tokens can be used for remote access by employees and secure access for trusted vendors, partners, and customers. Netscape has been working to enhance the security options for its software with other vendors through its Security Infrastructure Group (SIG), of which Security Dynamics is a member.

Security Dynamics expects to begin beta-testing its token-based security schema by July, and it plans to implement its tokens on Netscape servers running on Unix or Windows NT.