VeriSign Revamps Security Lineup

VeriSign announced today several new products,
services, partnerships and programs to bring its
multi-authentication vision to the masses.

Building on its mantra of protection against phishing and data theft,
the Mountain View, Calif.-based firm has augmented its VeriSign Unified
Authentication products, courtesy of new tokens with secure storage, a
software trade-in program and tighter software integration with the
Windows environment.

Cryptologists have been proclaiming two-factor authentication as the
best way to fight malicious attacks on corporate networks for some time.
But mass adoption has been stalled, according to VeriSign executives,
because customers think it is too expensive and too complex to add to
their existing systems or swap out an older system for a newer one.

“VeriSign Unified Authentication has already provided customers with
much needed choice and flexibility for their strong authentication needs,
and today, we are bringing significant new advancements to market that
further increase functionality at a reduced cost,” Judy Lin, an
executive vice president and general manager with VeriSign security
services, said in a statement.

VeriSign Unified Authentication is now available in two operating
models: “on-premise” service, in which all processing is performed by software
residing on the customers’ network; and “in-the-cloud” service, which
VeriSign hosts.

To date, VeriSign has announced deals for its Unified
Authentication service and tokens with companies like US Bank and AOL.

Key to VeriSign’s two-factor authentication is a new multi-purpose
USB hybrid token that combines one-time password (OTP), public key
infrastructure (PKI) credentials and smartcard functions with secure
Flash storage. The next-generation tokens will initially be offered in
128MB and 256MB versions.

In addition, VeriSign will introduce a new one-time password token to
supplement its line of multi-purpose tokens. All the devices operate on
the Hashed OTP (HOTP) algorithm introduced earlier this year by the
Initiative for Open AuTHentication (OATH).

VeriSign is also sponsoring a “Competitive Token Upgrade Program”
that will cost companies with at least 500 users $14.99 per token with
a $4.99 per user, per year in three- or five-year subscription fees.

VeriSign said it would begin selling its latest generation of tokens through its own sales team on March 1 and through the company’s newly established
channel program starting in July.

In a separate announcement today, VeriSign said it is aligning itself more closely with the Microsoft Windows infrastructure. The
relationship has resulted in an authentication that combines smartcard
Logon (X.509 Certificates) and one time password within the
Windows environment, including the initial Windows log-on, Outlook Web
access, Wi-Fi networks and remote access for Windows desktops.

Seeing a benefit to expanding its partner base, VeriSign also
launched its Unified Authentication channel program, which will let more
Value Added Resellers and Systems Integrators to sell, market, and
service the VeriSign Unified Authentication solution.

VeriSign said its partners will get access and sales tools to help
inform customers with the platforms authentication attributes and
deployment cycles.

Technology partners, resellers and systems integrators are among the initial members of the VeriSign Unified Authentication channel program, and they include: Aventail, Citrix, Dewpoint, Fiberlink, IBM, and Venafi. Additional partners are expected in the coming months.

Maria Cirino, senior vice president and general manager of the VeriSign Managed Security Services division, will head the channel program.

“The creation of a formal channel program for VeriSign Unified
Authentication will better serve market demand for strong
authentication, through a trusted network of technology partners,
systems integrators and value added resellers,” Cirino said.

“The combination of VeriSign technology expertise and brand, combined with
the sales forces of the channel program’s partners, will go a long way
in providing businesses of all sizes with a cost-effective and
functional means to secure their networks and protect their customers.”

VeriSign CEOStratton Sclavos is expected to outline more details of the company’s products, services, partnerships and programs during this week’s RSA security conference in San Francisco.

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