Packard Bell / NEC Leads Secure Etoken Deployment

Event Summary

On October 19, Aladdin Knowledge Systems ( Nasdaq: ALDN ), a global leader in the field of Internet content and software security, announced with Packard Bell NEC International ( Nasdaq: NIPNY ), the leading brand of consumer PCs in Europe, an agreement to bundle approximately 50,000 eTokens on Packard Bell PCs. The eTokens, or Internet keys, will come in different colors so that all family members can have a unique color code. Retail shops in Belgium expect to have eTokenized PCs on their shelves by November.

Etokens store private keys, passwords, and electronic certificates on the Universal Serial Bus (USB) and ensure that only legitimate users gain access to PC or network resources as soon as it is inserted into a USB port. This marks the first time a mainstream PC vendor has bundled a USB-Enabled Security Device on low-end desktop systems. USB is a new port standard for computer and peripheral connectivity, and is now standard on all new PCs and laptops. USB was developed through collaboration by Intel, Digital, Microsoft, IBM, Compaq and NEC, all of which are mainstream PC hardware vendors. Apple's new iMac comes equipped with a USB port as well.

Recently, the eToken won the prestigious European IST Award for best European innovative information technology products in 1999.

Market Impact

The eToken will enhance system and user security by adding encryption, password storage, private keys, and digital certificates. eToken functionality enables companies and consumers to secure their desktops and eliminate costly security deployment initiatives. Aside from protecting against internet ecommerce, etokens improve the sharing of information safely between family members sharing the same PC, protecting the confidential information of each person. eTokenized PCs are among the first Ecommerce Desktops to hit the streets, and will allow users to increase the level of security in purchases and financial transactions that they make over the internet.

As concern for electronic security gains more exposure, putting eTokens on desktops is what hardware vendors need to do to rekindle a slumping PC market. Expect other vendors to follow Packard Bell NEC's lead in eToken deployment. By late 2000, various Apple, Compaq, and IBM PCs will all come bundled with eTokens.

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