CoVantage Credit Union tests Tyfone's CSC technology

Source: Tyfone

Tyfone, a secure ID and transaction solutions provider, today announced that its patented technology under the brand name of The Connected Smart Card (CSC) is being tested by CoVantage Credit Union.

Tyfone's CSC provides unparalleled security for CoVantage Credit Unions' business banking members, vastly improving the security of members' passwords and securing all their mobile banking transactions.

Various cyber security threats put everyone at risk. One rapidly emerging problem is the threat to passwords being compromised. The inherent flaw in password systems, irrespective of static password or multi-factor one-time-password tokens, is when a user submits her password, the centralized cyber service has to instantly decipher system access or not. For this request-response to work, the centralized service has to store bulk information about all of the user's passwords within it and is increasingly becoming a lucrative target as computation power to hack passwords has become cheaper. Deloitte Consulting predicts that 90 percent of user-generated passwords, even strong passwords, will be vulnerable to hacking this year. Wired published that 280 million passwords have been compromised in the recent months.

Unlike other security approaches, Tyfone's CSC technology is carried by each user and adds a smart card chip to any device in several convenient form factors. It enables the storage of digital certificates for a two-sided request-challenge-response to every authentication request, instead of the simple one-way request-response. This unique process allows for secure point-to-point ID authentication without bulk storage of user information in the server. All user authentication information is stored with the user in her CSC hardware. This secure point-to-point ID authentication also results in two end-points that trust each other.

This trust enables an extra layer of data cryptography (using CSC) to secure transactions even through unsecure networks, e.g. public Wi-Fi.

Tyfone's solution meets recent Federal Financial Institutions Examination Counci Council (FFIEC) guidelines that indicate the need for layered security that goes beyond multi-factor authentication commonly in use today. A Tyfone customer since 2011, CoVantage Credit Union (with locations in North Central Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan) has successfully been using Tyfone's mobile money movement solutions and is piloting CSC hardware and software transaction platform for a new level of member security without requiring biometrics that create a host of new privacy issues.

"We originally chose Tyfone as our mobile banking provider because, unlike any other vendor, their IP and know-how adds smart card based security to any device, while also supporting the emerging adoption of smart card based EMV for payments in the U.S.," said Robert Van Abel, CIO at CoVantage. "We believe Tyfone's CSC solution, coupled with the work Tyfone is doing with In-Q-Tel for the U.S. government, reflects hardware that bi-directionally secures both ID and transactions will soon be essential for all entities, not just financial services. We were concerned that CoVantage would have to sacrifice either cost or aspects of security we wanted to deploy. By choosing the Tyfone CSC solution we met all our criteria for security and convenience, on top of a low total cost of ownership." 

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