Novell Enables Federal Agencies to Comply

Commercial off-the-shelf solution enables federal agencies to provide secure authentication to IT systems, save money and reduce administrative effort

19 July 2005

Novell today announced it has enabled agencies within the Federal government to achieve the access requirements mandated by Homeland Security Presidential Directive-12 (HSPD-12). HSPD-12 requires a standard identification card for federal employees and contractors to access federally controlled information systems. Novell's HSPD-12 solution combines proven, commercial software with consulting services to help federal agencies provide secure and manageable access to network resources. In addition, agencies can leverage their existing Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) to comply with HSPD-12 and reduce costs and administrative burden.

Using Novell's HSPD-12 solution, the Washington Headquarter Services (WHS) within the Department of Defense (DOD) significantly enhanced security to network resources while improving the end user experience. WHS uses the DOD's Common Access Card (CAC) with PKI certificates for all military, civilian and contractor personnel to authenticate to the network. Initially, WHS will use the CAC in conjunction with a PIN to authenticate but can easily incorporate other authentication methods such as biometrics, as desired.

“We have significantly reduced the threat of unauthorized access to our networks with Novell's network authentication solution,” said Glen Lee, a contractor from Reality Based IT Services, Ltd., who led the WHS project. “Novell was able to understand the government’s criteria and challenges and successfully build a solution that met the project requirements.”

Providing one common method for accessing the network has improved security for WHS while reducing the complexity of what users are required to do. Users can only access the network if they have both the CAC and knowledge of the PIN. Users are no longer required to remember long, complex passwords, which will significantly reduce help desk calls attributed to forgotten passwords.

Adaptable, Secure and Manageable

The solution, based on Novell® Certificate Login, is a high assurance, certificate-based authentication system that leverages smart card technology and Public Key Infrastructure to provide a highly secure but easily managed access control solution. As an authentication layer of Novell's identity management software, it provides centralized login services to computer networks using digital certificates stored on a user’s smart card. Novell's HSPD-12 solution is scalable to support any number of users and locations and extensible to accommodate additional authentication factors.

“HSPD-12 requires government agencies to meet a new standard for security,” said Jim Flyzik, former senior technology adviser in the White House Office of Homeland Security. “Novell has the only off-the-shelf technology that works across multiple platforms and directories and leverages existing infrastructure to reduce costs, increase productivity and enhance our national security.”


About Novell

Novell, Inc. (Nasdaq: NOVL) is a leading provider of infrastructure software and services to over 50,000 customers in 43 countries. With more than 20 years of experience in data center, workgroup and desktop solutions, Novell's 6,000 employees, 5,000 partners and support centers around the world are meeting customer requirements for identity-driven computing and Linux solutions. By providing enterprise-class software and support for commercial and open source software, Novell delivers increased operating flexibility and choice at a lower total cost of ownership. More information about Novell can be found at

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