WLAN Smart Card authentication receives standards boost

An Extensible Authentication Protocol Smart Card (EAP-SC) authentication standard designed to serve as a unified secure point of entry for all IP wireless networks including Wi-Fi, WiMAX and Wi-Mobile has been unveiled.

The newly defined authentication type aims to provide IEEE 802.11, 802.16, 802.20 and 802.21 wireless local area network (WLAN) clients including handsets, PDAs, PCs and other embedded systems with tamper-proof Smart Card authentication.

Developed by the WLAN Smart Card Consortium, the EAP-SC type also offers access to GSM and 3G universal mobile standards with SIM and USIM authentication schemes.

"With one billion units sold each year, the smart card is the de facto standard for the networking world, and its entry into the emerging EAP standard of wireless access is the unifying proposition that the industry has been waiting for," said Guy Pujolle, chairman of the WLAN Smart Card Consortium's Technical Committee.

The new EAP-SC type has been designed to fit immediately into existing authentication infrastructures and enhance security by enabling secure storage, tamper resistance and using the cryptographic capabilities of the smart card, the consortium said.

This solves the critical problem of handing-off authentication seamlessly among multiple wireless network technologies, Pujolle added.


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