Hitachi buys majority stake in ID management vendor

Looking to expand its line of identity management products, Hitachi has bought a majority ownership interest in M-Tech Information Technology, a vendor of password management software.

Hitachi already sells authentication products that identify the patterns of the veins in a person's finger to confirm the user's identity. The company expects that the M-Tech products will help expand this product line by giving the company new software to help manage functions on the back end. (Compare Identity Management products.)

This finger-vein authentication system is used by about 80 percent of the Japanese financial institutions that have moved to biometric log-on systems for their automated teller machines, Hitachi said in a statement released Monday.

Hitachi also hopes to use the M-Tech software in "joint offerings and other initiatives with Hitachi's biometric, RFID (Radio Frequency Identification), smart card and other security-related technologies," the company said.

M-Tech sells P-Synch and ID-Synch, two applications that allow customers to manage passwords and create new user credentials on the network. M-Tech's products are used by about 700 companies worldwide, including Barclays Bank, Shinsei Bank and Sears, Roebuck.

M-Tech was founded in 1992 and is based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Hitachi has now renamed the 140-person company Hitachi ID Systems.

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