Middleware

Bridging the Gap between PC and Smart Card

In light of rising fraud, corporate espionage and data theft, online security has become a hot topic among consumers, business, government, police and card issuers.

One promising solution involves using smart cards in home or office situations, for digital signing, encryption of emails or data, authentication for internet web site and portal registration and for the online identification of a person when shopping.

The gap between the standard PCs often found in home and offices and the high-tech chip inside secure documents is typically bridged using software packages called ‘middleware.’ In the smart card industry, ‘middleware’ is the software that allows standard applications like Microsoft™ Word and Outlook to access cryptographic keys on the smart card. Depending on the client’s needs, this might involve support solely for a specific application or extended support to include email programs, browsers and other software as well.

Support for various operating systems

Veridos’ solution is the eID App, smart card middleware that supports smart cards from different vendors running the JavaCard operating systems (OS) or STARCOS®. Veridos also supplies smart card applications and applets for digital signing, encryption, authentication and identification use cases.

The Veridos eID App works with Microsoft™ CryptoAPI and the miniDriver interface to support Microsoft™ applications like WindowsMail, Outlook, Internet Explorer, Word etc. In addition, the Veridos eID App offers the interface described in Public Key Cryptographic Standard (PKCS) #11, ensuring support for applications such as Lotus Notes, Thunderbird, Firefox, Acrobat Standard and others.

Wide range of applications

Smart card holders and issuers will benefit not just from the tremendous functionality of these systems, but from their adaptability as well. For example, the eID App includes a UI to manage the smart card, including PIN changes and the option to add or delete certificates and keys. The Veridos eID App is also able to work with one or several smart cards in parallel, with or without chip. It supports Secure Messaging (optional) and the PACE (Password Authenticated Connection Establishment) protocol for contactless cards, for added flexibility post-issuance.