RealTime IT News

ETrade Adopts RSA Authentication

RSA announced this week that ETrade Financial would adopt its two-factor authentication SecurID technology.

The solution is expected to be made available to ETrade's U.S.-based retail customers in the second quarter of 2005 and will be offered as an opt-in program.

RSA SecurID will be used in conjunction with users' existing username/password combinations to provide greater security. RSA's solution adds a random six-digit code that is generated by an authentication token that changes every 60 seconds. The intended purpose is to help prevent unintended or unauthorized access to a user's account

RSA claims that the technology is already in use by more than 15 million enterprise customers worldwide, though widespread end-user consumer adoption has barely begun.

Etrade's adoption of RSA SecurID token technology is the second one of its kind. In September of 2004, RSA signed up AOL for a two-factor authentication service called AOL PassCode.

"There's a crisis of confidence in the Internet," John Worrall, vice president of worldwide marketing at RSA Security, told internetnews.com. Worrall cited numerous data points of RSA research unveiled at the recent RSA show in San Francisco, which indicate a trend of eroding end user confidence in the Internet due to the continued infestation of spyware, phishing and other malware.

"The reality is that passwords have outlived their usefulness as an authentication technology," Worrall said, adding that two-factor authentication like SecurID is the next step in authentication technology for end users.

"It's just the next evolution where you're not protecting your machine or your e-mail account," Worral explained. "You're actually protecting your identity information and all the things you can actually access."

RSA announced a host of new products at its recent show. Included among them were new SecurID authenticators, as well as a strong authentication appliance for SMBs.