Security and Convenience, the Real Arch-Enemies?

By TechZone360 Special Guest
Kendall Hunt, Vasco's chairman and CEO
June 22, 2012

Our lives are constantly becoming faster, more mobile and more convenient. Microwave meals are ready in two ticks, a journey to an exotic country is only a couple of mouse clicks away and to arrive at an unknown destination, you trust your GPS device blindly without having to peer on a road map. Everything has become so easy and close at hand. In our virtual lives, it is the same story. We want to have access to all our applications in only a split second and it may not take much effort. Is it laziness or the difficulty to recall every different password that prompts users to limit their number of passwords? Wouldn’t there be a solution that is much easier and safer and that, moreover, protects the applications with only one strong password?

Some numbers

Research has revealed that the average internet user administers 25 accounts on the World Wide Web. He or she logs onto their different applications about eight times a day by means of four different devices. Their 25 accounts are protected by on average six different passwords. Users seem to have a tender spot for certain kinds of passwords. These are the popular ones: 23 percent uses his nickname, 18 percent choose their date of birth, 15 percent log on with the name of one of their children, 16 percent pick out the name of a pet and 2 percent even use the word “password”. Only 26 percent chooses an arbitrary password. In addition, it has to be mentioned that those arbitrary passwords are often written down on a post-it note and kept close to the computer, in order not to forget. It may sound convenient to limit the amount of passwords and to keep it simple to remember, but it is self-evident that it is not in the least secure.

A gateway to your personal and professional life

A whole load of personal and professional information is shared through different accounts: your private e-mails, conversations and pictures on social networks, company applications with sales figures as the Internet contains a gigantic volume of sensitive information. However, every surfer on the Internet realizes that passwords are a matter of the utmost concern. After all, passwords often are the first, last and only safeguarding of an account against intrusion attempts. We are all aware of the fact that locking the front door when leaving the house is the most obvious thing to do. Why then are we so negligent in protecting our precious information on the Internet?

Long lists with tips and tricks for a good password management can be found everywhere online. We pick at random some examples from the various possibilities: do not use real words, mix different character types, use different passwords for various accounts, change your passwords regularly, but let’s face it passwords are bothersome. What can be done to remedy this shortcoming?

A pioneering concept brings the solution

The answer to the difficult balance between security and convenience is called MYDIGIPASS.COM. This hosted consumer platform guarantees a safe login thanks to strong authentication. The platform allows users to download a free DIGIPASS mobile application that generates strong dynamic passwords on the end-user’s phone.

Strong authentication, also called two-factor authentication, starts from the idea that safe access can only be assured when at least two elements are involved: something you have – in this case the authentication application DIGIPASS for mobile– and something you know – for example a username or e-mail address. When these two factors are combined with one another, merely the one person linked to the authentication device can get safe access to his applications.

This service simplifies the end-user’s password usage. It is no longer necessary to memorize an entire list of passwords for all the different accounts. Once an internet user has logged on to MYDIGIPASS.COM, he will get access to every application that is registered on the platform. Moreover, a central place for the consumer to store, update and share his credentials is provided.

Too good to be true?

And yet, it is true. MYDIGIPASS.COM allows the user to explore all sorts of websites and applications in a secure way. VASCO’s hosted authentication platform provides an added level of security. It can fall back on a solid reputation, as VASCO has customers all over the world, from banks over large international companies to smaller SMBs. One can sleep soundly as security is guaranteed.

MYDIGIPASS.COM perfectly solves the issue between security and convenience, as also the second element is dealt with. First of all, the platform provides a single sign-on (SSO) environment. You only have to log in once with your strong password and access will be granted to all your applications available on the platform. Secondly, MYDIGIPASS.COM allows the user to manage his user attributes. Imagine how often one has to fill in his name, date of birth or address when he wants to register for an account. That’s all in the past now. The user himself is in control of the user attributes he wishes to share.

Although we should think that security and convenience cannot be reconciled, MYDIGIPASS.COM provides the evidence to the contrary. Thanks to this service, the user can feel at ease again when logging into favorite applications.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2012, taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX. ITEXPO offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. For more information on registering for ITEXPO click here.

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Edited by Jamie Epstein
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