Sun secures desktop with biometric access solution

Amidst expert predictions for 2003, secure log-on solutions were heralded as the next wave in secure computing. On Tuesday, Sun Microsystems Inc. turned predictions into reality in the U.S. with the release of a high-security log-on offering, combining biometrics and Smart Card technologies.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company, along with AC Technology Inc., a developer of biometric access control products, and Cross Match Technologies, a forensic-quality fingerprint and palm-print authentication solution maker, said the new solution is designed to prevent identity theft, fraud and cyber terrorism, and is based on Sun’s Solaris Operating system.

According to Sun, the solution is among the first in a Unix environment to feature biometric security for Sun’s Smart Card “hot desk,” or virtual desktop architecture, which is available on the Sun Ray system. The Sun Ray system stores no sensitive data locally, virtually eliminating data theft, which the company said makes it an ideal client for a high-security solution.

Combined with AC’s BiObex application – which allows users to deploy access control not only to the desktop but to physical and digital portals – and Cross Match’s Verifier E biometric access control device – a Smart Scanner capable of capturing FBI-standard prints – the Sun Ray offers enhanced security ensuring control of access to data from the network. Through the Smart Card technology, the solution creates a virtual desktop that allows users to activate a secure session from anywhere on the network.

While it was originally designed for use by the U.S. federal government, the offering has been tailored for use in other markets requiring security measures for obtaining network access including financial services and health care verticals.

AC and Cross Match are members of Sun’s iForce, an initiative that brings together Sun systems, software, services and partners under one umbrella to create and deliver customer-driven solutions.

While plans are in the works to bring the secure log-on solution to Canadian soil, Sun Microsystems Canada has not specified a release date. The company is currently working with Canadian biometric developers to ensure the solution adheres to Canadian justice standards. For more information, visit AC and Cross Match are also on the Web, at and