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News

Soft tokens for mobile authentication

Clickatell : 05 August, 2009  (New Product)
Partnership between Clickatell and Entrust results in strong authentication available by text message using one time password
One of the most diverse authentication platforms on the market for addressing online identity attacks is now that much more versatile. Entrust, in a relationship with Clickatell, enterprise global mobile messaging solutions leader, has expanded its ability to provide one-time-passcode (OTP) delivery to mobile devices via SMS. Often known as mobile soft tokens, this partnership expands the options available to customers using the Entrust IdentityGuard versatile authentication platform across multiple channels.

"Working with Entrust, we give customers a powerful mobile choice in how they deploy strong authentication to protect against online attacks," said Clickatell CEO Pieter de Villiers. "A one-time-passcode solution, delivered via our secure and reliable SMS-as-a-Service offering, can help reduce security access costs, improve enterprise application authentication success and provide an unprecedented level of convenience."

The partnership provides technology to enable single or multiple one-time passcodes to be sent to a mobile device. Entrust IdentityGuard can automatically issue a configurable number of OTPs directly to the end-user's mobile phone via Clickatell text messaging. These passcodes are used as a second factor for out-of-band authentication with Entrust IdentityGuard. Leveraging a user's existing mobile device, Entrust IdentityGuard can also provide automatic refresh of the passcodes and even enables user authentication while out of cell phone range, providing a continuous security capability to the end-user regardless of their location.

A leading provider of mobile messaging, Clickatell interoperates with more than 775 network operators in 220 countries, including AT&T, T-Mobile, Vodafone, Orange, O2, SingTel, Telstra and more.

"With wide market penetration, Clickatell was the perfect partner to help expand OTP soft token capabilities to Entrust's global customer base," said Entrust President and CEO Bill Conner. "Their expertise and global reach provides Entrust customers the ability to use the Entrust IdentityGuard OTP authentication capabilities with a proven global delivery provider, providing simple and secure authentication to end-users and enabling a level of convenience and versatility not found on other third-party authenticators."

Because of its ubiquity and availability on all handsets, text messaging has great potential to reach billions of users with a low total cost of ownership. Combined with the security of out-of-band authentication, SMS delivery of an OTP can be a secure, cost-effective method of authentication for consumers, citizens, employees, contractors and partners. In addition, OTPs expire after a brief period, making them ideal and ultimately secure via SMS; there is no need for customers to worry that the OTP will be "left" or "available" on the mobile device itself.

"SMS OTPs offer customers an easy, convenient way to gain secure access to financial accounts, corporate environments and government networks via the proven second-factor authentication method," said de Villiers

Entrust IdentityGuard enables organizations to layer security — according to access requirements or the risk of a given transaction — across diverse users and applications. The platform's authentication options include strong username and password, IP-geo-location, device, questions and answers, out-of-band one-time passcode (delivered via voice, SMS or e-mail), grid cards, eGrid cards and a range of one-time-passcode tokens. Entrust IdentityGuard also provides multiple methods of supporting mutual authentication, including picture and caption replay.

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