SecurEnvoy and Sophos team on tokenless two factor authentication

Source: SecurEnvoy

SecurEnvoy, the inventor of tokenless authentication, is Sophos' first technical partner to offer a tokenless two-factor authentication solution for laptops and other devices encrypted using Sophos SafeGuard Enterprise.

This removes the need for hardware tokens or smartcards and readers - making it more cost-effective for companies and easier for users to work securely, wherever they are using SMS messages to the user's mobile phone.

The new solution delivers business-grade encryption without the requirement for a token or other physical device which users previously needed to authenticate themselves. This removes the hassle and expense of deploying hardware tokens and smartcards. For users who rely on passwords rather than tokens, SecurAccess also eliminates the pain and expense of help desk calls to reset passwords.

Andy Kemshall, CTO and co-founder of SecurEnvoy, said, "Organisations want to enable their employees to connect remotely using any device, anywhere, any time - and in that scenario a physical device is impractical. Partnering with Sophos, we are the first company to bridge the gap. By offering a tokenless authentication solution, organisations no longer have to make the impossible choice between strong encryption and granting employees the flexibility they're craving."

James Lyne, Director of Technology Strategy at Sophos said "It's critical that organisations balance security, usability and organisational costs. Too much complexity in the password or rotation policy drives irritation in the workforce and leads to worse security as people write down their codes on stickies and put them on their desk. SecurAccess integrated with Sophos SafeGuard Enterprise provides a flexible alternative for organisations struggling with help desk costs."

Changing Legacy of Encrypted Devices
Prior to this product, for the user to boot the system and un-encrypt the data securely (beyond just using a password) would require a second pluggable device to be connected - either a USB token or smartcard reader, to allow the user to authenticate themselves. However, the increased requirement for truly flexible working practicices - anytime, anywhere, any device, means this isn't always practical. In addition, tokens and smartcards etc, inevitably get lost much more regularly that users typically lose their phone.

As well as decrypting hard disks, SecurAccess can also be used as an authentication method for any device connecting to the office, so one tool solves both problems. Whether it's powering up their encrypted laptop or connecting to the office, to updating email on an iPad, users are asked for the same password. The combination of an easily-memorable PIN (something the user knows) with an SMS received via their mobile phone (something the user has) therefore allows the user to authenticate themselves. This fuses the simplicity and ease of 'anytime, anywhere, any device' access the workforce is looking for with the strong security the organisation requires.

Changing Legacy of Password Resets
Another benefit that SecurAccess offers is eliminating the frustration and expense of password resets.

Enterprise security policies, for compliance and security often require users to change their passwords every 30 days. The Sophos Safeguard Enterprise solution enforces such policies, but this can introduce significant usability pains - particularly for travelling users whom forget their passwords, which then need to be reset. To do this, users contact the help desk and verbally repeat a complicated 30 character string code using the NATO phonetic alphabet. The operator then responds with another complicated 60 character code, again using the phonetic alphabet, which the user enters. Whilst good for compliance and security it can be frustrating and can be one of the bigger costs in deploying full disk encryption solutions.

Now, using the PIN plus an SMS code delivered by SecurAccess, the password will never again require resetting as the PIN remains static and easy to remember and the user has a 'reminder' for the second active part of the password. In addition the PIN is easy to recover online and a replacement text messages can be re-sent at any time. 

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