At RSA 2008 on Monday, Hitachi announced its acquisition of M-Tech. Since last Wednesday, the Canadian ID management company has been using its new name, Hitachi ID Systems.
Forrester Research predicts that the ID and access management market space will grow from $2.6 billion in 2006 to $12.3 billion in 2014, and Hitachi, long known for its security electronics, wants to be a player in the enterprise security market by offering a complete package.
Hitachi currently offers advanced IT authentication with its finger vein biometric devices. Finger vein biometric authentication is used in 80 percent of Japanese ATMs using biometric authentication.
Unlike fingerprint scanners or palm-reading biometrics, finger vein biometric devices represent a subset of hand geometry biometrics in that they look for unique vascular patterns in the customer's finger tip.
Vascular pattern recognition (VPR) uses near-infrared light generated from a bank of LEDs projected through the skin. The pattern recorded it then compared with the pattern on file.
With the acquisition, Hitachi now has ID management software to go along with its authentication hardware. Customers include Wells Fargo, Wyeth, Best Buy, Cingular, Wendys, Cisco, Sony, and Pfizer.
Hitachi is hoping to grow the software products it has acquired from M-Tech with joint offerings of its existing biometric, RFID, and smart-card security products.