The smart card is one of the latest additions to the world of information technology. Similar in size to today?s plastic payment card, the smart card has a microprocessor or memory chip embedded in it. The chip stores electronic data and programs that are protected by advanced security features. When coupled with a reader, the smart chard ahs the processing power to serve many different applications. As an access-control device, smart cards make personal and business data available only to the appropriate users. Another application provides users with the ability to make a purchase or exchange value. Smart cards provide data portability, security and convenience. We have focused on the state of the art for smartcards and their use in computer and network security systems. Smartcards have proven to be useful for transaction, authorization, and identification media. As their capabilities grow, they could become the ultimate thin client, eventually replacing all of the things we carry around in our wallets, including credit cards, licenses, cash, and even family photographs. By containing various identification certificates, smartcards could be used to voluntarily identify attributes of ourselves no matter where we are or to which computer network we are attached. Current state of the art smartcards have sufficient cryptographic capabilities to support popular security applications and protocols.