Quick Look: Gemalto’s New NIM Stick For Authentication
From the outside it looks like an USB stick that might be used as an authentication token. But there is a Gemalto smart card inside with an added bonus. The Network Identity Manager (NIM) can work
as an authentication device with no additional software residing on the laptop or handhelpd device. The token has a full TCP/IP stack and all required software built in. It supports the entire Transport Layer Security (TLS) session and does not require an installed browser or client software.
What this means for security directors is that familiar Gemalto (Gemplus, Axalto) smart card solutions may be deployed in a token-only mode. Imagine how easy it will be now to deploy strong authentication without suffereing through tedious client software deployment, building a PKI, or supporting Microsft Cryptographic Application Programming Interface (CAPI).
That saves work, to be sure. But this device is no panacea. It is not optimized ofr converged security, so don’t expect to use it for coordinating physical and logical access to doors and networks. And it doesn’t manage the many passwords you use every day, like Aladdin’s eToken does. But the NIM is a useful choice if the users are customers of Charles Schwab, PayPal, eBay, and other online transaction businesses participating in the VeriSign VIP network.
I use all of those services, so the NIM is looking good to me. But I still like my eToken for managing all the other logins I do every day. I’ll give the Gemalto NIM a score of 3.5 out of 5 for general utility.