When you think about it, KVM is potentially a big security hole - anyone who can get at the KVM switch can get at any system it controls.

So Raritan's had the bright idea of putting a smartcard reader into the switch to control access to it. It looks to be a first - certainly the company is claiming it as one.

But surely, shouldn't access to the KVM switch be controlled in the first place? You put it in your glasshouse, which of course has an ID card reader on the door, and the problem's solved.

Well, up to a point. Because authenticating your administrators via a smartcard isn't just about identifying them, it's also about authorisation - the system keeps track of user profiles, plus who should have access to what, and includes single sign-on technology to log them onto the lot in one go.

Potentially, it could also let you deploy the KVM outside the glasshouse, though that may be a step too far for many organisations.

What do you think - is KVM a threat, and is multi-factor authentication the way to deal with it?