Home > Articles

Integrating Smartcard and Secured Access Technologies

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book

In This Chapter

  • Maximizing Certificate Services Implementations

  • Securing Certificate Services

  • Getting the Most Out of Smartcards

  • Tips and Tricks for Securing Access to the Network

  • Creating a Single Sign-on Environment

  • Securing Access to Web Servers and Services

  • Protecting Certificate-based Services from Disaster

  • Integrating Smartcards with Personal Devices

Smartcards and other security hardware have been around for several years. Most of the implementations of such devices have been at very large organizations, such as government agencies in the Unites States and in Europe. This mainly has been due to slow adoption and perceived difficulties in implementation.

Windows Server 2003 has made the deployment of such security devices much more straightforward. The incorporation of Group Policy templates, autoenrollment, and Windows XP's features as the certificate client has given the administrator much better tools with which to work.

Maximizing Certificate Services Implementations

Creating a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) environment takes quite a bit of time and planning to build and effort to maintain. Administrators often have to plan well beyond the current levels of hardware and software available to them at the time of implementation. If the company's PKI infrastructure was built on Windows 2000 the administrators may want to improve their environment with new functionality built in to Windows Server 2003.

With the advancements in Windows Server 2003's Certificate Services and Group Policies much of the administrator's time, planning, effort, and wishes will finally pay off. Creating and issuing certificates to computers and users has become much easier to deploy and ultimately to maintain and manage.

Using Windows Server 2003 Updates

Administrators have at their disposal a very cost-effective platform to deploy a PKI infrastructure on Windows Server 2003. The new features that are available with this product are as follows:

  • Cross Certification. The Certificate Services in Windows Server 2003 has demonstrated full compliance with the U.S. Federal Bridge Certificate Authority (FCBA) requirements. The FCBA is a nonhierarchical PKI architecture that permits heterogeneous PKIs from different U.S. government agencies to be cross-certified and interoperate between organizations. This feature creates a certificate trust path between participating domains.

  • Flexible Certificate Templates. Windows Server 2003 supports both the Windows 2000 (version 1) and the new version 2 templates. Management of the templates is controlled through the new Certificate Templates MMC snap-in. This new tool enables administrators to control template properties (such as key size and renewal period), permit autoenrollment and autorenewal for both users and machines, set access control on certificate templates to determine which users or machines can enroll for certificates, and allow for specific Cryptographic Service Provider (CSP) use and key size.

  • Certificate Autoenrollment. Administrators can specify the types of certificates a user or machine can automatically receive on logon. If the access controls permit, a Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 client can access the templates in Active Directory and enroll for their respective certificates.

  • Autorenewal. Administrators can use the new templates to permit the autorenewal of a user or machine certificate. This removes the administrative overhead of managing certificate expiration.

  • Role-based Administration. Windows Server 2003 makes it possible to enforce the separation of the many administrative roles for the CA and operating system. With different roles no single user can compromise the entire CA.

  • Key Counting. The CA now supports key counting, where the CSP maintains a count of each use of the signing key. This feature provides additional audit information that can be used to track private key distribution.

  • Key Archival. The CA now has the ability to archive the keys that are associated with the certificates it issues. These keys can now be recovered using the new key recovery agent certificate.

  • Delta Certificate Revocation Lists (CRL). The CA can now provide delta CRLs that are in compliance with IETF RFC 2459. This reduces the CRL network traffic because the complete replication of the full CRL database is not required for a small number of certificate revocations.

  • Event Auditing. Most events that occur on the CA server can be audited. This provides a useful logging and monitoring function. Examples of this are tracking role changes, key recovery, certificate issuance, and revocation of certificates.

Choosing the CA Roles

Administrators have many choices in their enterprise security architecture. One of the choices related to PKI and smartcard secured access is the deployment of the CA roles within their organization:

  • Enterprise Root CA

  • Enterprise Subordinate CA

  • Standalone Root CA

  • Standalone Subordinate CA

The Server Does Not Have to Be a Domain Controller

Administrators can install an Enterprise CA on any domain member server. The server does not have to be a domain controller. This practice is especially important for security concerns and separating CA roles.

The most important CA role, as it relates to smartcard deployment, is the Enterprise Root CA. The Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Enterprise CA has the following characteristics:

  • The Enterprise CA must be a member of a Windows Server 2003 Active Directory domain.

  • The Enterprise Root CA certificate is automatically added to the Trusted Root Certification Authorities node for all users and computers in the domain.

  • User certificates can be issued that allow users to log on to the Active Directory domain using computer-stored certificates and/or certificates stored on smartcards.

  • User certificates and the Certificate Revocation List (CRL) are stored in the domain's Active Directory.

  • Unlike Standalone CAs, an Enterprise CA issues certificates via certificate templates that can be added and customized by the CA administrator.

  • Unlike the Standalone CA, the Enterprise CA confirms the credentials of the user requesting a certificate.

  • The Computer or User name (also known as the Subject) can be entered manually or automatically on the certificate.

The Enterprise CA is an ideal solution for a network with a Windows Server 2003 domain. All domain members can be assigned certificates via Group Policy–based certificate autoenrollment. You can limit the scope of autoenrollment by assigning permissions to the certificate template.

For Administrators to Enable Support of Certificate Autoenrollment...

For administrators to enable support of certificate autoenrollment, the Enterprise CA must be installed on either a Windows Server 2003 Enterprise or Datacenter Edition server.

Using the Web Enrollment Site to Obtain Certificates

Users and computers that are not domain members, or don't support autoenrollment, can use the Web enrollment site to obtain certificates.

Incorporating Smartcards

By using the security access philosophy of "Something you know, something you have, and something you are," information technology administrators can significantly increase their network security. The more you can do to keep people from impersonating valid log-in attempts, the more secure the data and network resources will become. To detail the best practices that lead to secured information system access, the three items are as follows:

  • Something you know. This can either be a strong password, or in the case of a smartcard this would be the user's personal identification number (PIN).

  • Something you have. This is any of several devices that contain a copy of the user's PKI certificate. Examples are smartcards and USB keys.

  • Something you are (optional). This refers to some physically unique attribute of the user. Examples are DNA, fingerprints, facial features, or the iris of the user's eye.

Securing Log-ins

End users in a less than secure environment can easily use someone else's username and password. This is especially open to attack when the impersonator is coming from a remote location. No one is watching the attacker sit at a remote terminal and access all the company's data.

By using a physical device such as a smartcard, secure ID, or other device, administrators can be more assured that users are actually who they say they are when they log-in.

The machines that are authenticated in Active Directory are usually known entities. This piece of information gives you a good idea of where the user is logging in from.

Securing E-mail

Sending certified, or signed, e-mail in an application such as Outlook can be performed using smartcards. Using certificates stored on the smartcard to sign the end-user's e-mail enables the recipient to know that the sender is who he actually says he is. Certificates can also be used to make sure that only the intended recipient can open and read the e-mail sent.

Securing Documents

Encrypted File System (EFS) can be employed to secure sensitive company data. This is especially critical for administrators who are tasked with protecting data on laptops and other portable devices.

Windows Server 2003 now supports EFS on offline folders and multiple user access. It is also harder for unauthorized recovery of EFS folders by third parties. EFS renders the data unreadable to anyone who is not granted access to that content.

Securing Buildings

Smartcards can be incorporated into a company's identity badge that has a radio frequency identification (RFID) capability. Card readers can be installed on the exterior, or on critical access internal doors.

Maintaining an accurate record of smartcard holders and what level of access they have can be extremely useful. All entry accesses can be centrally logged and can be audited by the administrator or security personnel.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020