July 2006

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Privaris® Launches World’s First Personal Biometric Device for Secure Access to Multiple Facilities, Computers and Networks

Megan Prosser,
Marketing Project Manager
Privaris, Inc


1. The product

The plusIDTM device is the world’s first mobile, handheld biometric fingerprint fob for secure access to multiple facilities, computers and networks. It provides a fast and simple means of verifying the identity of its user while maintaining their personal privacy.

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plusID is a personal, key-fob sized device that includes a fingerprint reader and a secure processor, so that an individual must prove (“authenticate”) their identity to the device before it will release an access code or credential. Because the device connects on-board fingerprint authentication with stored security credentials, organizations are assured that credentials transmitted from the device have come from the authorized user. The individual’s private fingerprint template remains securely stored in the device and is never transmitted.

Each plusID biometric device works with most security technologies in use today – for access to facilities, for computer and network access, and to authenticate online or point-of-sale financial transactions.

The consolidation of multiple functions in the BCM5890 secure processor, which is used in the plusID device, enables a price point low enough to generate widespread adoption (i$100 to $150, depending on configuration and quantity). The device’s ability to work with legacy security systems – no upgrades or changes required – means that plusID provides a rapid and cost-effective way for companies and institutions to significantly increase security.

2. Market opportunity

The plusID personal biometric fob has been developed by Privaris to respond to the increasing security needs of governments, enterprises and individuals.

In the wake of 9/11, the federal government passed a wide variety of security compliance regulations – each with their own requirements and standards. In addition, losses from identity theft, compromised financial transactions, and physical security breaches continue to total billions of dollars a year.

As a result, organizations face an increasing burden to comply with security regulations and adequately protect accounts, personal data, and other sensitive information, while reducing security and administrative costs.

For the individual, multiple passwords, multiple access cards, and key fobs are not only inconvenient, they also compromise the security of the systems and facilities they are intended to protect – users write passwords down, and access devices are lost and stolen.  Many security systems currently in place can easily be compromised because the identity of the person gaining access cannot be verified. Security can be significantly increased by using biometrics to confirm an individual’s identity.

The plusID personal biometric device solves this problem by linking a unique physical attribute of a user (their fingerprint) to the data or facilities that they are allowed to access or the transaction they are authorized to make. With plusID, there is no longer a need to remember passwords, and if a device is lost it – is useless in anyone else’s hands.

3. Uses

The plusID biometric device can store credentials such as facility entry codes, computer passwords, credit cards, digital certificates, licenses, passports, photographic images, demographic data, and even additional biometric data for multiple biometric authentication methods – up to 512MB of data - all within one secure fob that can only be used by its owner.

plusID provides enhanced security for numerous uses, such as:

plusID supports three-factor authentication, provides a non-repudiable audit trail, and reduces the cost of compliance with SOX, HIPAA, FDFC, FFIEC, and other regulatory requirements.

[an error occurred while processing this directive] 4. Privacy

Unlike most biometric security systems, the plusID device does not rely on a database of biometric information, so it eliminates a significant inherent security risk. Once a user is enrolled through Privaris’ secure, on-device enrollment process, information derived from the fingerprint is encrypted and stored in the secure, tamper-resistant device, and is never released.

If an unauthorized individual were to electronically or physically probe a plusID device, no biometric data could be acquired. Because the fingerprint information is not stored in a database, but rather encrypted and stored in the secure device, a users’ personal privacy is maintained at all times.

To ensure the privacy of transmissions, credential data can be encrypted on the device before it is released so that only the intended recipient can interpret the information.

plusID uses Broadcom’s new BCM5890 secure processor which is built specifically to resist tampering. In fact, plusID conforms to the stringent FIPS 140-2 Level 3 security standard for tamper resistance.

5. Mobility

A key differentiating factor of plusID is mobility. Its key-fob size (similar to a keyless entry fob for vehicles) and self-contained fingerprint authentication means that plusID can verify its user’s identity wherever and whenever needed, in a single-handed operation. And plusID is fast: typical verification times are one second or less.

Not only is a mobile biometric authentication device convenient for a user, it also provides significant advantages for an organization. Providing each individual with the ability to rapidly and easily authenticate using their own device means that unlike biometric door readers with a common fingerprint sensor, the plusID has no single point of failure. Congestion at entrance ways is reduced, health concerns are eliminated, and it is no longer necessary to bear the expense of equipping every access point – both logical and physical – with networked biometric readers.

6. Compatibility

The plusID uses standard wireless frequencies to communicate with up to 90% of installed access control infrastructure (provided by major manufacturers such as HID®, Indala®, CASI, Kantech and SARGENT®). This means that it is can easily be added to existing non-biometric security systems to enhance security, with minimal cost and disruption. Additionally, the device allows for selective security upgrades by enabling mixed populations of biometric and non-biometric devices on the same reader systems.

A single plusID fob can hold the equivalent of four proximity cards and four contactless smart cards, and still provide access to PCs and networks. plusID supports one-time-password technology for local or remote computer access, and can be easily integrated with third-party logical access software.

plusID uses the following wireless and wired communication methods to ensure compatibility with most security systems in use today:

Deployment requires a simple enrollment process that takes just two or three minutes.

7. Intellectual property

Privaris has six issued patents with additional patents pending for the Privaris plusID and its applications.

[an error occurred while processing this directive] 8. Future products

Three further products currently under development by Privaris are to be announced in 2006:

9. Company

Privaris Inc. focuses its technology expertise on the intersection of high security biometric applications and the individual’s right to personal privacy. Privaris products authenticate the identity of an individual prior to that individual being granted access to facilities, resources, services, and transactions. Unlike other providers, Privaris’ technology enables completely self-contained biometric authentication products that ensure the privacy of the individual’s credentials and biometric information.

Privaris has established partnerships with security industry leaders such as Broadcom (semiconductor design and development), and HID Global (world’s largest provider of RFID hardware and security systems).

Privaris Inc. was founded in 2001, and is a privately-held Delaware corporation with its headquarters in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Privaris’ plusID is the logical solution for today’s increased security needs. For complete information about the plusID personal biometric fob and Privaris, please visit www.privaris.com


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