Research In Motion has announced that the BlackBerry Smart Card Reader has achieved FIPS 140-2 certification level 3 – the highest certification achieved by any wireless smart card reader on the market. Smart cards support security programs like the U.S. Department of Defense’s Common Access Card (CAC) program and the Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD-12) which calls for a mandatory, government-wide standard for secure and reliable forms of identification issued by the federal government to its employees and to the employees of federal contractors. FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standard) certifications are assigned by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
“Our customers value the robust security provided with BlackBerry products and services and smart card readers are particularly important within the government sector,” said Scott Totzke, Senior Vice President, BlackBerry Security at Research In Motion. “This advanced certification of the BlackBerry Smart Card Reader for the U.S. Federal Government demonstrates our ongoing commitment to meet and exceed the expectations of our government customers.”
The BlackBerry Smart Card Reader is designed to work with personal identification cards issued by government organizations or other high-security organizations. Users insert a smart card into this lightweight reader and wear it on a lanyard as a two-factor authentication device for secure access to BlackBerry smartphones, desktop computers and facilities. BlackBerry smartphones and desktop computers automatically lock when the user’s smart card is not in proximity.
FIPS 140-2 level 3 certification of the BlackBerry Smart Card Reader also verifies advanced security features of the smart card reader itself, such as tamper evidence and self destruction of critical security parameters upon device breach.