Wednesday, 9 September 2015

The Top 10 Features for a Modern Authentication Solution

Back in 2009 I wrote an analyst report for Goode Intelligence on the mobile phone as an authentication device. It predicted that the mobile phone would become the prime user authenticator and enable people to securely access digital services delivered across a wide range of endpoints; used as an out-of-band authenticator for web services and as a seamless authentication tool for mobile apps. 

Roll forward to 2015 and these predictions have proved to be pretty accurate. The smartphone has become the remote control of our digital lives with user authentication being one of the main go-to buttons on our remote controls. All of the major authentication platforms are transitioning away from delivering strong authentication through sole-purpose hardware. Traditional stronger authentication technology, such as the smartcard and OTP token is largely being replaced by smart and agile forms of mobile-based authentication solutions some of which (Apple's Touch ID biometric authentication technology) is being embedded into mass-market consumer technology. It has never been as easy to deploy strong mobile-based authentication. But which authentication and identity management solution should an organization choose and how should they measure them?

In the years that I have been covering the authentication industry I have worked with my colleagues, both at Goode Intelligence and through our many consultancy engagements, to develop a checklist of where an authentication solution needs to excel in order to be market leading. 

The result of this work has been the recently launched Product Evaluation service that provides an independent analysis of information security products and services, including authentication and identity management solutions. We define that a modern authentication solution should have the following ten features to be successful in meeting the latest demands. These ten features are listed below.

We have used this criteria as part of a product evaluation of the Encap Security Smarter Authentication Platform in a recently published free-to-download report. The evaluation concludes that Encap's mobile-based authentication platform meets the requirements of a modern authentication platform and Goode Intelligence has awarded the product a ‘Highly Commended’ rating (Goode Intelligence’s top rating for Authentication and IAM). 

This rating has been awarded as the Smarter Authentication Platform is a highly customizable, adaptive and risk-based platform that meets the needs of highly-scalable connected digital services. It has the ability to be quickly integrated and rolled out to millions of end-users and is available for all smart mobile devices. 

Organizations can apply the same measurement criteria when evaluating authentication and identity management solutions for their own use and Goode Intelligence shall be publishing further product evaluation reports in the coming months to assist organizations in choosing the most appropriate technology for their use.

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