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Smart card management at Humboldt University.

VPS ID Systeme : 08 November, 2007  (Application Story)
Browser based management of smart cards at university provides ease of issue and control of identity cards held by both staff and students.
vps ID Systeme, a leading European supplier of professional IT solutions for identity management and a member of the Digital Identification Solutions Group, announces that Humboldt University in Berlin has chosen its revolutionary web-based card management system, IDExpert CMS, to manage all of the university's smart ID credentials.

Today, many students and staff at Berlin's Humboldt University (HU) use
smart cards as indispensable 'admission tickets'. These PKI-enabled smart
cards give them access to the university's IT network, and allow them
digitally sign and encrypt e-mails and documents. Access to certain rooms
and permissions to use printers are also managed via the smart student card.
To ensure that this system functions smoothly and reliably, Humboldt
University has chosen IDExpert CMS, the credential management system from
vps. The system has been in operation at HU since March and is used to
control the production of the ID cards and to manage them throughout their
life cycle.

Berlin University is currently introducing smart cards for certificate-based
access control to the university's services, rooms, and secure areas. Each
student and staff member - potentially tens of thousands in all - can
receive a smart card. It is not just the extremely high number of users that
required a sophisticated and reliable system to manage the cards - including
personalization, issuance and deactivation - but also the very high student
turnover rate which is characteristic of all universities.

After an initial test phase, Humboldt University had chosen a card
management system from Siemens, as it was compatible with the different
operating systems used by the university. Moreover, Siemens also offered a
dual interface card, another important criterion for HU. However, after
comparing another two software packages, and following a second test phase,
Humboldt University finally chose IDExpert CMS, the web-based,
platform-independent card management system from vps as their ideal
solution. IDExpert CMS interfaces with a wide range of systems and serves as
the central information hub for all card-related applications. The system is
accessed via a web browser and can thus be operated from any location. In
addition, IDExpert CMS easily manages the large quantity of cards
(approximately 50,000) required by HU.

Initially, the smart cards were only used for PKI functions, so the main
focus was to integrate the complex card management system with Humboldt
University's PKI infrastructure. IDExpert CMS was implemented for both
online and offline use. The offline version is used for the production of
the cards. The system retrieves the necessary information for the graphic
and electronic personalisation of the cards, including keys and
certificates, from the Certificate Authority (CA). The information stored on
the smart card is then transferred to the IDExpert CMS online system, where
all card functions are managed until the card is deactivated and destroyed.

The next step in Humboldt University's project is to extend the
functionality of the card for access control to rooms and sensitive areas.
This phase will see the encoding of the Mifare chip embedded in the card for
contactless operation: IDExpert CMS is ready.
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