RSA Launches Authentication For BlackBerry


RSA's SecurID token, which became available this month, is a two-factor authentication and identity assurance solution specifically geared for the BlackBerry smartphone. The software tokens deployed are designed to allow users safe and secure access to enterprise wireless networks with a one-time password.

Both execs and partners alike say that the two-factor authentication solution has a lot of resonance with a workforce that has become increasingly mobile and reliant on Blackberry and other smartphone devices, particularly with telecommuters, mobile workers and IT administrators.

It also provides a cost-effective way for companies to roll out increasingly sophisticated security solutions to protect data and mitigate risk on mobile devices, and execs say that they've seen a lot of demand in the workplace as budgets tighten and comanies increase their contracted staffs.

"We've been seeing a maturing in customers using BlackBerry software tokens rolled out to larger deployments," said Rachael Stockton, principal product marketing manager, Identity and Access Assurance Group at RSA. "It's a huge time cost and save. Now they're looking to roll it out in a broader sense."

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Specifically, the two-factor authentication solution uses a simple, automated process for a BlackBerry smartphone that deploys software tokens "over the air" to provide a user with a one-time password.

Once deployed, the new tokens offer direct access to the BlackBerry Mobile through VPN, allowing Wi-Fi-enabled users to connect to their office network remotely in order to receive e-mail and access applications.

Partners also echo that in particular, the software tokens address the growing concerns that their customers have about loss and theft after issuing expensive mobile devices, such as laptops or BlackBerrys to workers.

Ira Silverman, CEO of Gotham Technologies, based in Stamford, Conn., said that many of his customers rely heavily on contractors, and were especially concerned about security after issuing devices to temporary workers with limited access privileges.

"Deploy a device with a three-year contract, and they'll have to be responsible for getting it back," said Silverman. "People are getting laid off left and right. Once they're gone with it, they're gone with it. When you deploy a soft token you can just discontinue it."

The solution also offers tighter integration with BlackBerry enterprise servers, which gives IT administrators the ability to tailor the RSA SecurID token to the company's specific security policies. There is also increased support and automatic software token backup -- if a token is lost, IT administrator's can automatically restore them to a user's new or wiped handset, and avoid redeploying the software token from scratch.

"It makes a lot more sense," said Silverman. "It's also easier to get back. You can deploy it to more people on a temporary basis."

Partners also maintain that the SecurID solution appeals to an array of verticals that span the market segments, which include mid-tier, and large enterprise, financial services, healthcare, pharmaceutical and legal services. As a result, partners say that the authentication solution opens doors for new conversations about mobile strategies for the mid-tier and branch offices, as well as large enterprise.

"Five years ago, it was primarily enterprise," said Silverman. "But who doesn't have a BlackBerry these days?"