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Utimaco Safeware Wins Order for over 2.5 Million Euros for Biometrics Security Project

Oberursel, Germany - Utimaco Safeware has secured an order of over 2.5 million Euros to undertake a biometrics-based security project for the Judicial Organisation of the Ministry of Justice in the Netherlands. The project involves deploying Utimaco’s SafeGuard® Biometrics technology on 12,500 workstations for activating user authentication, e-mail security, digital signatures and encryption functions. This represents the largest installation of fingerprint biometrics for IT security in the world to date, as well as the largest order of Utimaco Safeware’s biometrics solution.

SafeGuard® Biometrics supports the use of fingerprints for smart card access in place of more commonly used passwords and PINs. In addition to enabling secure user authentication, it also provides Single Sign On (SSO), as well as bringing to market the first integration of biometrics technology into complex IT security applications. SafeGuard® Biometrics’ unique architecture supports the use of biometrics-powered smart cards within standard applications such as Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Office, allowing users to employ digital signatures and perform data encryption within these programs.

In addition to supplying biometrics technology, end-to-end solutions provider Utimaco will also deliver complete security for all 12,500 desktops within this project, which includes providing certificate-based user authentication, digital signatures and powerful encryption of e-mail and data. The Judicial Organisation of the Ministry of Justice will base all of its security applications upon Utimaco’s Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), SafeGuard® PKI, in combination with MaXware’s Directory Server.

The imminent biometrics implementation within the Judicial Organisation of the Ministry of Justice in the Netherlands has largely been driven by the need to carry out highly secure electronic communications on a regular basis. Biometrics technology answers this need, providing a unique means of binding of a digital signature to a user. While PINs and passwords can easily be passed on to another person for fraudulent use of digital signatures, this is not the case with fingerprints. Likewise, the decryption of sensitive documents can only be performed by authorised users.

Utimaco’s biometrics solution was selected above competitive offerings because it is more advanced than current technologies on the market. SafeGuard® Biometrics employs a Match-On-Card (MOC) mechanism that enables the direct verification of a fingerprint on the smart card itself, thus eliminating the need for fingerprint templates to be centrally stored and managed, therefore potentially open to risk. The secure storage of fingerprints on the smart card itself provides the user with absolute control over their security functions.

“The unique identification of users is fast becoming increasingly important in the digital world”, says Dr. Norbert Pohlmann, marketing director of Utimaco Safeware AG. “We are proud to be delivering a comprehensive solution based on SafeGuard® products to the Judicial Organisation of the Ministry of Justice in the Netherlands – one that meets their high specifications for security, flexibility and user-friendliness.”

Market experts predict high growth rates for security systems based on Biometrics. IDC estimates that the market for biometrics solutions will reach .8 billion by 2004, with an average yearly growth rate of over 60 percent.


About Utimaco

Utimaco Safeware AG is the leading European manufacturer of professional and certified ICT Security solutions. Utimaco Safeware develops and sells integrated security solutions based on established standards for Mobile/Desktop Security and for Internet Security.


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