RSA: VeriSign Revamps Security Lineup

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VeriSign announced today several new products, services, partnerships and programs to bring its multi-authentication vision to the masses.

Building on its mantra of protection against phishing and data theft, the Mountain View, Calif.-based firm has augmented its VeriSign Unified Authentication products, courtesy of new tokens with secure storage, a software trade-in program and tighter software integration with the Windows environment.

Cryptologists have been proclaiming two-factor authentication as the best way to fight malicious attacks on corporate networks for some time. But mass adoption has been stalled, according to VeriSign executives, because customers think it is too expensive and too complex to add to their existing systems or swap out an older system for a newer one.

“VeriSign Unified Authentication has already provided customers with much needed choice and flexibility for their strong authentication needs, and today, we are bringing significant new advancements to market that further increase functionality at a reduced cost,” Judy Lin, an executive vice president and general manager with VeriSign security services, said in a statement.

VeriSign Unified Authentication is now available in two operating models: “on-premise” service, in which all processing is performed by software residing on the customers’ network; and “in-the-cloud” service, which VeriSign hosts.

To date, VeriSign has announced deals for its Unified Authentication service and tokens with companies like US Bank and AOL.

Key to VeriSign’s two-factor authentication is a new multi-purpose USB hybrid token that combines one-time password (OTP), public key infrastructure (PKI) credentials and smartcard functions with secure Flash storage. The next-generation tokens will initially be offered in 128MB and 256MB versions.

In addition, VeriSign will introduce a new one-time password token to supplement its line of multi-purpose tokens. All the devices operate on the Hashed OTP (HOTP) algorithm introduced earlier this year by the Initiative for Open AuTHentication (OATH).

VeriSign is also sponsoring a “Competitive Token Upgrade Program” that will cost companies with at least 500 users $14.99 per token with a $4.99 per user, per year in three- or five-year subscription fees.

VeriSign said it would begin selling its latest generation of tokens through its own sales team on March 1 and through the company’s newly established channel program starting in July.

In a separate announcement today, VeriSign said it is aligning itself more closely with the Microsoft Windows infrastructure. The relationship has resulted in an authentication that combines smartcard Logon (X.509 Certificates) and one time password within the Windows environment, including the initial Windows log-on, Outlook Web access, Wi-Fi networks and remote access for Windows desktops.

Seeing a benefit to expanding its partner base, VeriSign also launched its Unified Authentication channel program, which will let more Value Added Resellers and Systems Integrators to sell, market, and service the VeriSign Unified Authentication solution.

VeriSign said its partners will get access and sales tools to help inform customers with the platforms authentication attributes and deployment cycles.

Technology partners, resellers and systems integrators are among the initial members of the VeriSign Unified Authentication channel program, and they include: Aventail, Citrix, Dewpoint, Fiberlink, IBM, and Venafi. Additional partners are expected in the coming months.

Maria Cirino, senior vice president and general manager of the VeriSign Managed Security Services division, will head the channel program.

“The creation of a formal channel program for VeriSign Unified Authentication will better serve market demand for strong authentication, through a trusted network of technology partners, systems integrators and value added resellers,” Cirino said.

“The combination of VeriSign technology expertise and brand, combined with the sales forces of the channel program’s partners, will go a long way in providing businesses of all sizes with a cost-effective and functional means to secure their networks and protect their customers.”

VeriSign CEOStratton Sclavos is expected to outline more details of the company’s products, services, partnerships and programs during this week’s RSA security conference in San Francisco.

Article courtesy of

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