Authentication Options Get Interesting

Gartner predicts that by 2017, more than 50% of enterprises will choose Cloud based services as the delivery option for new or refreshed user authentication implementations, up from less than 10% today.

In New Zealand we are seeing, that whilst the interest level in cloud based authentication is high, there are still some common key points that organisations wish to discuss, understand and evaluate around options such as the SafeNet Authentication Service.

Those points are –

• Today we still use a username and password - how will authentication improve security?

• We have invested in an authentication solution from another vendor e.g RSA or Verisign, and would not be in a position to get budget approval to move platforms.

• Will the operational cost of cloud-based authentication be considerably lower than what we are using today?

• How do you cater for different user and device requirements?

• We have a mixture of applications hosted on our internal network and we are also wishing to cater for secure access to cloud based applications in the future.

In summary the answers to these points are –

2 Factor Authentication (2FA) is most commonly used to add an additional layer of security to a user’s network or application username and password. The simplest example of 2FA in action is a consumer’s ATM card. To gain access to a bank account requires something the user has (their card), and something they know (their PIN). Many organizations allow entrance to their valuable resources e.g VPN, Citrix, and Outlook Web Access with only a single factor—a weak password. 2FA provides the user with a token (hardware or software) that generates a One Time Password (OTP) code that must be entered along with the username and optionally password detail.

You can maintain your current token investment (e.g RSA, Verisign) as SafeNet Authentication Service has been designed to offer a smooth transition from an existing third party RADIUS authentication server. When those tokens need replacing you can deploy tokens directly from the SafeNet Authentication Service.

A calculation to confirm lower operational costs in moving to SafeNet Authentication Service is readily done. The level of saving depends on the service option selected. If no locally based infrastructure is required this substantially reduces the total cost of operation compared to other 2FA solutions. Should an organisation have a requirement to have some on-premise authentication infrastructure in the mix then this can be also catered for cost effectively. Lastly, SafeNet tokens do not expire, this eliminates the need to replace and deploy new authenticators every three years and helps reduce your TCO. Faulty tokens are simply replaced under a current support contract.  

There is an extensive range of token options available. In recent times the uptake of mobile devices has seen many people transition from a key fob physical token to a soft token for their Smartphone, Tablet or Laptop. As your security requirements evolve you may elect for certificate based PKI tokens.

Whether the applications are based on your internal network or are to be delivered in a cloud based format we can cater for improved security in both cases. This would be achieved using RADIUS and/or SAML based authentication. 

To discuss how you can take advantage of the changes in Authentication technology to improve security more cost effectively contact

Sameer Shaikh -

Sameer has over 11 years of experience in sales and customer service roles in the technology, financial, wholesale trade and retail sector in India, UAE, United Kingdom and New Zealand.

At MPA Sameer is applying his expertise in customer management and business development to maintain existing business relationships as well as developing new business opportunities.

He also shares responsibility in the sales and purchase order entry and logistics areas.

Sameer has a Bachelor of Science degree.

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