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Caltex gets smart in its network security


Caltex gets smart in its network security

WELLINGTON, 8 June 2005 – Caltex New Zealand is one of the first companies in New Zealand to adopt smartcard technology to improve its network security.

As part of a multi-million dollar world-wide project implemented by its parent company Chevron to improve the security of its systems, Caltex New Zealand has replaced company network passwords with smart badges for all its corporate employees and contractors.

All 230 Caltex New Zealand corporate office employees have this year been issued new photo identification badges which have a Schlumberger 32k Java chip embedded in them which allows them to log on to desktop PCs and laptops equipped with a remote card reader.

The smartcards, developed by Schlumberger and RSA Security, will significantly improve the security of the company’s internal information and reduce the cost of helpdesk support. It provides employees with network access, controls the use of digital signatures and provides access to Chevron and Caltex’s applications.

Caltex New Zealand Public Affairs Manager John Kerr says passwords are easy to crack.

“Using off-the-shelf software we found we could crack passwords within hours for weak passwords or days for more complex ones. And then there’s the problem of people telling others their passwords - there are a whole range of things that make passwords an ineffective security solution," says Kerr.

Caltex New Zealand IT support typically has to reset between 50 – 100 passwords a month.

One of the challenges that faced Chevron was the need to develop a secure log-on system that would be capable of working in remote parts of the world that could only be networked through low-capacity satellite data links.

"It is a very challenging project. It touches a lot of our infrastructure. We have to make sure our local applications will work with it and that Chevron information and security policies are in line," said Kerr.

IT staff at Chevron are continuing to work with their suppliers to re-write and modify applications to replace password access with access through smartcards and smart tokens.

The company will also issue RSA secure tokens, which generate one-time pass codes for business partners and staff that need to access its system through their own computer equipment.

- END -

About Chevron and Caltex:

Chevron Corporation is one of the world's largest integrated energy companies. With more than 47,000 employees, Chevron conducts business in approximately 180 countries around the world, producing and transporting crude oil and natural gas, and refining, marketing and distributing fuels and other energy products. Chevron is based in San Ramon, California. Caltex is a wholly owned subsidiary of Chevron. Its associated brands are sold in approximately 30 countries across Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa.

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