Most of the time when I explain to people that I sell middleware for PKI Smart Cards They assume that I am strictly in the security business. The big question; is this a fact or are there other usages for PKI Smart Cards or to generalize the concept PKI tokens.
First of all we most of the time address those (mostly) RSA based tokens as PKI Tokens. Better would be to address them as Public Key Technology Tokens or RSA Tokens. Calling it PKI Tokens gives the impression that they only can be used in combination with a Public Key Infrastructure, all though those tokens are most of the time used in combination with a Public Key Infrastructure there may also be applications that use the PKI Token strictly for holding a RSA Key Pair without the certificate.
So what about the security bit ?
Back to the main question. When addressing the tokens as Public Key Technology token it becomes clear that we talk about a technology. As I believe that technology should always support he business we have to look at the business side of things to find an answer on the big question.
The business side of things
When looking to the business side we don’t talk about issues like: “I want that all my users have Strong Digital Identity”. We talk about: “I want to increase my turn over” or “I want to cut down my cost”. If we start looking to it from the business angle it is not that difficult to discover a business case for PKI Tokens. An example might be giving all your customers a token to give them access to your website to cut down cost. Another example; you can give all your employees a token which is protected by a fingerprint so that you cut down cost on resetting passwords.
Security is only one of the driving forces behind the use of PKI Tokens like smart cards. We are talking about a technology that has to serve the business and can be used in many different business applications as a technology providing you with a complete set of standards, protocols and implementations laying around to be used to solve your business problem.
Well now it is up to you to come up with the business problems and the opportunities that can be solved by using this technology.