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Fischer International Systems Corporation and Xcert Software Inc. demonstrate the first web-based Certificate Authority to interoperate with hardware tokens.

CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 13, 1996--Fischer International Systems Corporation (FISC) and Xcert Software Inc. announced another first in Data Security today at the Computer Security Institute conference and exhibition in Chicago.

Xcert and FISC demonstrated public key certificate management using Sentry CA, Xcert's off the shelf Certificate Authority product and FISC's Crypto SmartDisk secure token device, as well as FISC's recently released Smarty smart card reader.

Certificate requests made from FISC's Crypto SmartDisk are sent to an Xcert Sentry Certificate Authority (CA) and the resulting certificates are stored in the Crypto SmartDisk. The solution provides corporate Intranet managers with the ability to have secure, client authenticated data communications over the Internet from any workstation or laptop device, regardless of any prior desktop based security.

A variety of client-side applications are already available to take advantage of the tokenized certificates, including a document signing program, a secure email client, and a browser plug-in (the Xcert CA already supports most secure web browsers directly; the plug-in makes it possible for them to take advantage of FISC's Crypto SmartDisk technology).

"The addition of token support via the PKCS11 standard considerably widens the range of enterprise applications we and our partners can deploy," said Andrew Csinger, President of Xcert. "Our early commitment to standard protocols is paying off now." Xcert's Sentry CA makes revolutionary use of SSL and LDAP to secure access to a variety of back-end databases, including their own proprietary tdbm.

"Combined with SmartDisk's unique 3.5 inch floppy-disk form factor, Xcert's Sentry CA makes it possible to bring true public key infrastructure solutions to our clients," said Paul Pieske, FISC's Security Products Marketing Manager. "The combination is perfect for broad horizontal applications in electronic commerce, because the SmartDisk takes advantage of the ubiquitous floppy drive, eliminating the need for any additional smart-card reading hardware. With SmartDisk, even legacy PCs can participate in token-based security and electronic commerce applications. This is a real breakthrough for our users."

Xcert has been demonstrating its flexible GUI-based Certificate Authority product since April 1996. "We have been storing certificates in LDAP-based DBs for quite some time now, and have also extended it to store them in SSL-LDAP DBs, with access to certain DN attributes restricted on the basis of the connecting SSL-LDAP client," said Pat Richard, Xcert's VP Technology and Strategic Development. "The beauty is that you end up with a secure DB, and client-sensitive views of the namespace, with the whole namespace being authenticated and signed.

"This forms the basis of our PKI, and it allows us to store certificates in not only X.500 back ends but anything else that will interoperate with LDAP."

FISC was the first to implement a token that takes advantage of the standard 3.5 inch floppy drive, thereby eliminating the need to purchase cumbersome external card readers or tie up valuable PCMCIA slots. With SmartDisk and the Smarty smart card reader, FISC is the only company to offer tokens that do not monopolize serial, parallel, or USB ports.

Xcert was the first to implement and demonstrate client authentication via public key certificates on the Internet (April 1996). Xcert was the first to implement and market an off-the-shelf Certificate Authority product (June 1996) and first to implement and market a version of LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) secured via SSL (April 1996). Xcert is now the first company to demonstrate token-based public key infrastructure with far-reaching enterprise-wide advantages.

Today's announcement is the latest step in Xcert's strategic relationship with FISC and supports Xcert's strategy of partnering with companies with strong complimentary technologies to provide the best solutions for Internet security and infrastructure.

Xcert Software Inc. is the premier provider of Internet security software using digital certificates. Xcert is based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. For additional information, please contact Andrew Csinger at 604/681-1282 or Richard Burger at 415/962-9550, or visit Xcert's web site at

Fischer International Systems Corporation (FISC) develops, designs, markets, licenses and supports a family of enterprise-wide office automation and computer security software products. FISC sells and supports its products to a diverse international customer base. The company is headquartered in Naples, Florida and has offices in North America and Europe. For additional information, please contact Kathy Chamberlain at 941/436-2678 or Paul Pieske at 941/436-2607.

CONTACT: Xcert Software Inc.

Tim Gage, 604/681-1282


Fischer International Systems Corporation

Kathy Chamberlain, 941/643-1500


Miller/Shandwick Technologies

Richard Burger, 415/962-9550
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Nov 13, 1996
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