Codebench Enters into Strategic Alliance with Mercury Security

Codebench Inc. has entered into a strategic alliance with OEM access control hardware provider Mercury Security to provide the market with a high-assurance reader solution fully integrated with an access control panel.

This technology partnership marks a significant paradigm shift in how physical access control is used as part of a personal identity verification (PIV) solution by locating the credential and identity verification-process logic at the control panel instead of at the unsecured side of the reader.

The business partnership will bring together Codebench’s PKI at the Door technology with Mercury Security’s open-access platform. As a result, OEM partners of Mercury Security will be able to purchase a complete hardware solution that includes Codebench's PKI at the Door, providing Mercury Security partners with end-to-end trust, beginning with credential provisioning and ending with the cryptographic challenge/response at the reader. Mercury Security partners include numerous well-known physical access control software providers, with 17 partners worldwide.

PKI at the Door combined with the Mercury Open Access Platform gives the physical access control system (PACS) administrator the ability to configure reader authentication modes based on schedules or threat conditions. Authentication modes can be configured directly from the PACS reader graphical user interface.  Communications between the card reader and the Mercury panel are encrypted, and security decisions related to the smart card will be made by the panel, ensuring that the reader cannot fall victim to a man-in-the-middle attack.  This breaks the traditional PIV reader model in which the challenge/response as well as biometric matching is performed on the unsecured side of the controlled area.  Relocating the PIV business logic to the access control panel will eventually result in lower reader costs due to reduced processing requirements.

“Readers that can perform PKI at the door have become the required solution for both military and government agencies that require assurance at the time of access,” said Bob Fontana, president and chief technology officer of Codebench. “By partnering with Mercury Security, we’re able to provide an out-of-the box solution that is completely integrated with the access control panel and the upstream physical access control system without requiring additional hardware or software.”

“Our combined technology approach will eliminate extraneous hardware and provide flexibility in assigning threat level per entry way, while enhancing user experience on identity presentation,” said Frank Gasztonyi, CTO and co-founder of Mercury Security. “We’re excited about the possibilities of melding Codebench’s PKI at the Door technology with Mercury Security’s open-access platform and creating a more efficient and flexible offering for our combined business partners than is available today.”



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