Cyber security is a matter of serious concern in light of the immense threat of unauthorised access to industrial, commercial, governmental and personal data. Parsec has been working on a most cost-effective solution, which could go a long way to counter this threat.
“We believe the USB cryptographic tokens, otherwise known as HSIDs (high security IDs), developed by Parsec, will find ready application throughout industry, especially the retail and banking sectors,” says Tobie van Loggerenberg, director of Parsec. “But, it goes much further: these devices are ideal for government and defence, whose mandate is national security and whose imperative it is to continuously elevate cyber protective measures.”
According to Van Loggerenberg, the requirements of the Protection of Personal Information Act (Act No 4 of 2013) places distinct demands on public and private corporate entities to protect personal information, which could be addressed with the HSID token.
“The HSID offers security features that will be of great benefit to these entities.”
The HSID has the appearance of an ordinary flash memory stick, albeit one with significantly more advanced application due to its sophistication. In essence, it provides hardware security for encryption keys, certificates and algorithms. Moreover, this is coupled to the enforcement of a second factory of authentication, similar in some respects to the process where banking transactions are authorised by means of one-time PINs.
“It works as follows: two-factor authentication means that the bearer of the token has to be in physical possession of the token, and at the same time, has to know the token’s PIN,” Van Loggerenberg explains.
Even with the token in hand, and simultaneously ignorant of the PIN, it is not possible to gain access to the stored keys and functionality. “Not only does this prevent unauthorised access to sensitive information, but the HSID is immune to common attacks like phishing or key-logging.”
Parsec sees further typical applications of the HSID in encryption of disks, files and e-mails, password storage, random number generation and digital certificates. All these functions are performed internally in the token. This is particularly important to businesses and individuals, who are targeted on a daily basis, often with huge financial – and reputational – damage.
Online security has become a constant in our lives. The Parsec developed range of HSID tokens represents an ideal and cost-effective solution. For users across the broad spectrum of online services, it has the advantage of being supported on all Microsoft Windows and OS X operating systems. The tokens are easy to install and use.
“Parsec is already taking its HSID5000 model through FIPS 140-2 level 3 validation, which goes to show that we take cyber security very seriously,” Van Loggerenberg concludes.