NW_20011022_en_VASCO’s New Digipass 850 Offers First Multifunctional and Secure Smart Card Reader

October 22, 2001

Digipass 850 enhances smart card deployment and usage through flexible and unique combination of anywhere, anytime portability with USB connectivity, regardless of smart card platform

OAKBROOK TERRACE, Illinois and BRUSSELS, Belgium –October 22, 2001 – VASCO (NASDAQ & EASDAQ: VDSI; www.vasco.com), a global provider of enterprise-wide security products that support e-business and e-commerce, today introduced the Digipass® 850, a secure, intelligent, multifunction smart card reader. As the next generation of “secure e-portal” following the company’s introduction of the Digipass 800, the Digipass 850 can either be connected to a PC’s USB port, acting as a secure PC/SC-compliant smart card reader, or used unconnected to add channel-independent strong authentication and e-signature capability to any smart card platform. With the Digipass 850, organizations now have a flexible and secure tool for supporting the deployment of smart cards for applications ranging from Public Key Infrastructures, e-banking, e-commerce, e-purse, and network security – all in a single device.

The result? Financial institutions, corporations, and government agencies can now easily support any current and future channels for deploying smart cards, offering the types of secure services those cardholders will want to use.

“For example, some smart card holders may only want basic services like phone or Web banking at first, and can use the Digipass 850 as a portable strong authentication token with their smart card,” explained Jan Valcke, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing for VASCO. “Others may want more sophisticated services such as e-ticketing, loading money into e-purse smart cards from their PC, or online brokerage, so they’ll use the Digipass 850 in connected mode as a secure smart card reader. What is important is that in each case, the same smart card is the point of digital identity between the bank and the customer, the bank does not need to change its infrastructure to add new services and channels, and the customer does not need a new smart card reader.”

In connected mode, the Digipass 850 supports local PIN entry and data confirmation on the reader itself, instead of on the untrusted platform of the PC -- eliminating one of the main security issues with smart cards. In its unconnected mode, the Digipass 850 works in conjunction with the holder’s smart card to create a fully portable, battery-powered strong authentication platform. In this mode, the DP850 requires no drivers to be installed, eliminating the single biggest obstacle to widespread smart card deployment.

Another key benefit of VASCO’s Digipass 850 is that it provides organizations with an easy way to begin deploying a smart card infrastructure in anticipation of deploying a Public Key Infrastructure, yet without the high management and administration costs. Network and security administrators can deploy smart cards storing a certificate and Private Key along with the Digipass 850, achieving enhanced security by using the secure PIN entry capability of the Digipass 850. As a kind of “pre-PKI” strong authentication and e-signature deployment, the smart card is used to generate a dynamic password. When they’re ready, the organization can deploy a full PKI without requiring any change to the existing client infrastructure, or simply choose to continue using the smart card with Digipass to gain the benefits of highly secure yet easy-to-use access control.

“The Digipass 850 acts a flexible ‘PKI-enabler,’” said Eddy De Legher, Senior Product Manager for VASCO. “Even organizations that decide to go to a PKI using server-side certificates can still use the client infrastructure of deployed smart cards and Digipass for strong authentication, dramatically reducing the exposure of the certificate to unauthorized access. And because it is a member of the Digipass family of products, the Digipass 850 can be installed with any Digipass customer with no changes to their existing systems.”

VASCO secures the enterprise from the mainframe to the Internet with infrastructure solutions that enable secure e-business and e-commerce, protect sensitive information, and safeguard the identity of users. The Company's family of Digipass® and VACMAN® products offers end-to-end security through strong authentication and digital signature, enterprise Single Sign-On, and LAN security, while sharply reducing the time and effort required to deploy and manage security. VASCO's customers include hundreds of financial institutions, blue-chip corporations, and government agencies in more than 50 countries. More information is available at www.vasco.com.

Forward Looking Statements
Statements made in this news release that relate to future plans, events or performances are forward-looking statements. Any statement containing words such as “believes,” “anticipates,” “plans,” “expects,” and similar words, is forward-looking, and these statements involve risks and uncertainties and are based on current expectations. Consequently, actual results could differ materially from the expectations expressed in these forward-looking statements.

Reference is made to the Company's public filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission for further information regarding the Company and its operations.

For more information contact:

Americas: Mike Lange, +1 630 932 8844, [email protected]
EMEA/APAC: Jochem Binst, +32 2 456 9810, [email protected]

Investor Relations:
Annemieke Blondeel, Americas +1 630 932 8844, Europe +44 20 8308 7080, [email protected]