The use of smart card technology is growing rapidly across all levels of government. The most common instances including the Common Access Card (CAC), and ID Cards often provide critical services like building access and audit trails which allow agencies to oversee security and people management. Historically these services have been managed by a small group of contractors. Now, KEMP Technologies which provides load balancing and other technology infrastructure support services has launched authentication support for government smart cards.
“We have been focused on government for the past few years with our load balancing technology, and over the course of that time clients and potential clients have expressed interest in support for smart cards in addition to applications,” says Jim Justice of KEMP Technologies, in an interview with CivSource.
Much like applications load balancing, the company’s LoadMaster offering provides support for authentication and authorization of cards before the workload hits server performance. KEMP had been providing this service for other workflows that require rapid authentication like email boxes and software applications. F5 also provides this service and has captured a solid portion of the federal marketplace, but is seeing new competition from companies like KEMP that have been able to cut down deployment and cost curves.
With the launch of smart card support, KEMP is the only provider that can provide this support for hardware, virtual, cloud, and bare-metal platforms. The LoadMaster service does this on behalf of clients that present X.509 certificates through their CAC, and then becomes the authenticated Kerberos client for those services.
Justice explains that LoadMaster will be a key pillar for the company’s government offering going forward, and that the company is on pace to see record growth from the segment. “We’re already on pace to break our own internal records.”
KEMP is also working with state and local governments to deploy similar service offerings. “We’ve been very focused on customer feedback, and incorporating what they’d like to see into the platform,” Justice adds. “We have resale partnerships with Dell and others that also have reach into the state and local space. We expect to continue to expand our government services business through next year.”