Microsoft has acquired Alacris, a vendor of certificate management and identity assurance software products. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The acquisition adds to Microsoft's strategy of providing easily administered identity and access management solutions, group product manager for Windows security at Microsoft, Michael Atalla, said.
Alacris' flagship product, idNexus Identity Assurance Management System, is aimed at helping companies using security technologies such as smart cards and public key infrastructure to deploy them in a user-friendly way, Atalla said.
Its technology provides digital certificate and smart card lifecycle management products that help customers deploy, manage and maintain security systems using Windows-based smart cards. It also provides a Web-based policy-driven workflow management system for managing smart cards.
Many companies are moving away from using user names and passwords alone to give employees access to sensitive data or equipment, Atalla said. By adding Alacris, Microsoft wants to show companies that the use of smart cards and biometrics are as useful and easy to use as user name and passwords, Atalla said.
Microsoft would continue to work with smart card vendors and other security partners, and the Alacris acquisition would add products on top of Microsoft's existing partnerships. It plans to use the technology elsewhere as well. "We put ourselves in a position to offer an end-to-end solution," he said. "In the end, any digital certificate solution is on the table."