Feeds

VeriSign takes token stance

Pick-n-mix authentication products

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

VeriSign is to start selling hardware authentication tokens and is leading a group of security companies in a standards initiative. The move appears to be an effort to soften RSA Security's dominance of the authentication market. VeriSign has announced the formation of the Open Authentication Reference Architecture (OATH) alliance and is publishing the first white paper detailing such a reference architecture.

OATH will base "90 to 95 per cent" of its framework on existing standards, such as LDAP and RADIUS, VeriSign's VP of authentication services Mark Griffiths said. It will work on two areas that, he says, lack much-needed standardisation.

The group will work on standards for credential provisioning, and on a standard algorithm for generating one-time passwords. This work will be submitted to groups such as the Trusted Computing Group, the IETF and the Smart Card Alliance.

The idea is to allow buyers to pick-n-mix the best or cheapest authentication products, knowing they will interoperate. Currently, different vendors use different methods, which can lead to vendor lock-in for buyers.

OATH members are drawn from the markets that provide token-based authentication, and those that provide systems that leverage it. Named participants include Aventail, ActivCard, Aladdin, ARM, Axalto, BEA, Gemplus, HP, IBM and Rainbow.

RSA, which owns more than half the token market with its SecurID devices, is not a member of OATH. Given the amount of recurring revenue SecurID creates, the company arguably has a vested interest in keeping its methods proprietary.

VeriSign is also getting into the token business "at least for a while" in order to stimulate the market, Mr Griffiths said. VeriSign will later this year start selling two USB tokens, one based on smart card technology with a digital certificate built-in.

It seems that this business may be not core to its strategy, however. The company prefers to offer the hosted lookup services in which it specialises, and it seems its moves into authentication are also aimed at pushing this type of service.

The OATH architecture will allow for validation services to be hosted locally on a user's network, as they generally are today, or hosted elsewhere on the Internet, such as on VeriSign's ATLAS lookup processing servers.

Source: ComputerWire/Datamonitor

Related research: Datamonitor, "Beyond the Perimeter Firewall", (BFTC0814)

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
Attack reveals 81 percent of Tor users but admins call for calm
Cisco Netflow a handy tool for cheapskate attackers
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
Oi, Europe! Tell US feds to GTFO of our servers, say Microsoft and pals
By writing a really angry letter about how it's harming our cloud business, ta
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.