The emergence of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets have created new business opportunities and improved user experience. But the mobility has also increased the need for strong logon security that can provide secure access to business-sensitive information and mission critical systems. The problem, however, is that many authentication solutions on the market today are based on proprietary technology and regulated by irrational user-based licensing models, which has resulted in high prices and low flexibility. Swedish IT security company Verisec has developed an innovative solution to remedy this problem.
Unlike other authentication solutions on the market, Verisec’s Freja Authentication Appliance is priced on an appliance-based licensing model, which decreases the marginal cost for every new user that is added. This new Swedish model has turned the industry on its head and is currently being deployed to provide strong authentication on a massive scale in the UK, according to Johan Henrikson, CEO and co-founder of Verisec.
“Two-factor authentication (2FA) has been regarded as a safe and effective login solution for some time now, but there’s always been a problem with the cost of the underlying technology. The companies that dominate this market have constructed a pricing model that forces organisations to pay a high price per user – rarely under 100 £ – in order to implement strong 2FA. This is problematic, to say the least. Just imagine you’re a web service provider with hundreds of thousands of users, or a government with millions of users, then you see how fast this model translates into huge and insurmountable costs. It’s become evident that this approach doesn’t work anymore”, he says.
It was against this backdrop that Verisec developed its Freja Authentication Appliance – an authentication server based on open standards designed to manage digital identities and secure access to networks and applications. What primarily differentiates Verisec’s solution from the competition is that Freja comes with a pricing independent of the number of users involved, which means that every organisation that wishes to implement strong authentication only has to pay a fee for the server, after that they can add as many users as they like.
“When you buy our solution, it doesn’t matter if the number of users are 15.000, 30.000 or hundreds of thousands, the prize remains the same. The truly groundbreaking aspect of Freja isn’t the technology per se, but the fact that the licensing model enables large user groups to access sensitive information in a safe manner. In fact, the technology to provide a secure Internet to large user groups has been around for years, but now we have a solution that makes this a reality from a business standpoint as well. The big acknowledgement came, of course, when London decided on Freja during last year’s procurement. More than 100.000 borough employees, students, principals and parents in London currently have the possibility to use our authentication solution, and deployment is still ongoing,” he says.
Freja can also be combined with Google Authenticator to achieve more flexible 2FA access through the use of smartphones. The ability to reuse an existing device allows companies and organisations to get rid of the logistics and distribution costs associated with physical hardware devices.
“In the past six months, several of our British borough clients have begun to deploy Google Authenticator in combination with Freja. Since Google Authenticator is free and Freja has no per user cost, it is now possible to have an unlimited approach when it comes to strong authentication”, he says, and concludes:
“Our recent expansion in the UK seems to confirm that we’re on the right track – strong authentication must be more affordable and accessible in the future. There has to be cost efficient alternatives that can deliver high security with a low total cost of ownership, coupled with ease of deployment, attainability and user-friendliness. This is clearly the way to go.”
Find out more at www.verisec.com