Precise Biometrics, Thursby Software offer government-security solution for iPhones, iPads (with related video)
Precise Biometrics and Thursby Software recently announced a new hardware-software security bundle that is designed to let defense and federal-government users access secure applications via enterprise or personal iPhones and iPads.
By using the Tactivo smart casing from Precise Biometrics, users can be authenticated via a smart card or fingerprint — or both, depending on security policies — before accessing sensitive information via a device. This hardware solution is being bundled with secure browsing software from Thursby Software, which specializes in Apple integration, management and security.
Currently, the offering is targeted toward federal entities that are mandated to meet security requirements, but the solutions also are expected to be attractive to financial, healthcare and public-safety enterprises, according to Etienne Veber, COO and executive vice president of Precise Biometrics.
"Effectively, we can protect the documents on the device, because nobody else — if you lose your device, or it gets stolen — can access the documents, because either they don't have the card or they don't have the fingerprint," Veber said during an interview with Urgent Communications.
In addition to allowing users to access sensitive information via personal devices, the smart-card reader casing also is ideal for enterprises that may want a single device to be used by different personnel to access different information, Veber said. By authenticating the user's identity, different user profiles can be loaded that allow access only to appropriate applications and information, he said.
"[For example], we think healthcare is a perfect environment, where multiple people will share an iPad to consult patient records, but a doctor or a nurse may not need access to the same information."
While sensitive information can be accessed via the device only after authentication, the device will function normally without the Tactivo casing, allowing a single device to be used for both enterprise and personal use, Veber said.
"People can say, 'I can now turn a personal device into a device that is broken down between what's personal and what's not personal,' and what's not personal can now be protected at a much higher level," he said. "That's one of the benefits — you don't need to carry two devices.
"If you are in an environment where there is a very strong safety requirement, we're providing a solution to the IT, CIO and CTOs."
The introductory pricing is $249 for the iPhone bundle and $299 for the iPad bundle — $50 off the regular bundle price.
The demo video shows Thursby PKard® apps working with an Apple iPhone cased by Precise Biometrics' Tactivo™ that holds both a smart card and fingerprint readers.