Card Access and Columbitech First to Deliver Wireless Bridge Solution Securing POS Systems for Retailers

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Card Access™, Inc. with Columbitech announces delivery of a High Security Wireless Bridge, allowing retailers easy conversion of existing networked point-of-sale (POS) systems from wired to wireless. Product resolves retailers' wireless networking security issues faced when bridging standard Ethernet LANs and wireless LANs, provides cost-effective, broadband wireless connectivity for existing wired retail POS terminals, and eliminates need for large capital investment in new wireless POS infrastructure.

Card Access™, Inc., a leading engineering services company and developer of wireless communications products, today announced that together with Columbitech, leading provider in wireless retail security, they will deliver a new secure wireless bridge to the market. This new offering allows retailers to easily convert existing networked point-of-sale (POS) systems from wired to wireless while resolving wireless networking security issues. The result is the first complete and secure wireless POS infrastructure.

The new Card Access High Security Wireless Bridge™ integrates with Columbitech Wireless VPN™ technology to address the challenges faced by retailers to secure data when bridging standard Ethernet LANs and wireless LANs (WLANs). High Security Wireless Bridge provides retail applications with cost-effective, high capacity, broadband wireless connectivity for existing wired POS terminals. The solution offers no-compromise security and eliminates the need for large capital investment in new wireless infrastructure.

Elimination of Legacy Wireless POS Security Vulnerabilities

Many retail POS solutions face multiple security exposures in today’s wireless world. A lot of these retail POS systems utilize cobbled wireless networking and many of these unmanaged Wi-Fi® networks are encrypted using Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) encryption. Published exploits for WEP encryption are easily found on the Internet, as the encryption algorithm has been compromised for nearly four years, leaving businesses and consumers vulnerable.

With the Card Access High Security Wireless Bridge, retail organizations ranging from single stores to the Fortune 500 now have a scalable, secure wireless POS solution that eliminates unsecure WLAN risks. Consumers are also protected from security compromise by eliminating credit card fraud and identity theft exposures in retail settings, giving consumers a more secure shopping experience and preserving their confidentiality.

This new solution is optimized for the retail environment and provides full protection of all back-office information, such as merchant data, customer data and credit card information, in accordance with Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standards. Columbitech’s VPN technology provides ease-of-use with a standards-based wireless security protocol to encrypt, authenticate and validate any transmitted data. It is optimized for thin clients and works with all devices and networks, eliminating the hassle of administrating several vendor-specific security systems which may be dependent on device, operating system or network. Columbitech’s proven and standards-based security is built into the High Security Wireless Bridge.

Securely Leverage Legacy POS Assets

Using the High Security Wireless Bridge with existing POS equipment, retailers can avoid the large capital expense of updating POS terminals and systems with integrated Wi-Fi technology. The product provides the link between the wired Ethernet port in the POS terminal and the secure wireless transmitter in the bridge. Integrating the Columbitech Wireless VPN into the Wireless Bridge minimizes configuration and management requirements for network systems support personnel. Providing convenient, always-on wireless connectivity, the Wireless Bridge / Wireless VPN combination provides true end-to-end security and performance benefits otherwise found only in the wired world.

“The combination of superior wireless performance and robust security in the Wireless Bridge gives retail companies a clear path to implementing wireless POS solutions without the cost of a completely new equipment roll-out,” said Kip Meacham, vice president of marketing and product management for Card Access, Inc. “Using our state-of-the-art wireless technology with Columbitech’s top-performing wireless security features delivers a solution retailers can use with the utmost confidence that customers, transactions and networks are safe and secure.”

“Retailers are challenged with providing security for a broad range of systems typically deployed in a store. This is why Columbitech Wireless VPN technology already has been certified for over 150 devices,” said Åsa Holmström, president of Columbitech. “Now, introducing the High Security Wireless Bridge with Card Access, we enable existing networked systems such as POS terminals to go wireless by requiring no changes to existing systems and infrastructure while resolving security issues.”

Availability and Pricing

The Card Access High Security Wireless Bridge and Columbitech Wireless VPN Server Retail Edition will be available for purchase in June of 2006. The Card Access High Security Wireless Bridge has an entry-level price of USD$299 per unit, and the Columbitech Wireless VPN Server Retail Edition has an entry-level price of USD$1,995 per unit. Quantity discounts for both solutions will also be available.

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About Card Access

Founded in 1995, Card Access™, Inc. is a leading engineering services company that develops wireless communications products. World-class organizations in the medical, military and home consumer markets rely on Card Access for development of high-performance, low-power, miniaturized, mobilized and ruggedized wireless communications solutions. Card Access, Inc. is a privately held company headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah. For more information, visit or call 1.801.748.4900.

About Columbitech

Columbitech, a leader in Wireless LAN and WAN security, develops and markets solutions for the securing of wireless access to corporate data, without sacrificing performance and ease-of-use. Customers include retailers, military and government agencies, and other mobile staff who require proven reliability and security for their wireless communications. The Columbitech solution is OEM licensed by leading companies, including Symbol Technologies, Toshiba TEC, Hewlett Packard and Ericsson. With products built from the ground up for the wireless world, Columbitech offers end-to-end security, convenient always-on connectivity, and optimized performance. The Columbitech solution holds a FIPS 140-2 certification and is in the evaluation process for Common Criteria Certification. Columbitech is privately held with offices in Stockholm, Sweden, and New York, USA. For more information, please visit

For more information:

Card Access Contacts

Ray Ivins

Phone: +1 801 748 4900

Kip Meacham

Phone: +1 801 362 0696

Columbitech Contacts

Åsa Holmström

Phone: +1 212 946 2799

Fran Bosecker


Phone: + 1 845 536 1416

Card Access™ and the Card Access High Security Wireless Bridge™ are trademarks of Card Access, Inc. Columbitech Wireless VPN is a trademark of Columbitech AB. Wi-Fi®, and Wi-Fi Alliance® are registered trademarks of the Wi-Fi Alliance. Other marks may be the property of their respective owners.


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Kip Meacham