RSA Authentication Manager Express: Bringing Strong Authentication to SMBs (w/o the Tokens)

RSA has recently introduced a new platform for strong authentication, Authentication Manager Express. It’s getting a lot of much deserved press for being the first to market multifactor authentication perfect for small to medium-sized businesses.

In fact, in an article in the MidMarket section of covering the release, our very own Justin Mescher was interviewed to provide his commentary:

Justin Mescher, CTO of Integrated Data Storage, said RSA’s product is cost-competitive, implements seamlessly into almost any IT environment and is designed to be one of the easiest ways to add another layer of security to resources that require user remote access. “Coupled with an expanded set of RSA SecurWorld reseller training resources and benefits, we expect Authentication Manager Express will help us drive new interest among midmarket customers that were previously hesitant to consider strong authentication solutions priced and designed for larger enterprises,” he said.

To reiterate Justin’s point, the reason why this system is so appealing is because it removes the barrier to entry for SMBs to implement strong authentication. Up to this point, many organization have felt that it’s cost prohibitive to purchase and maintain hardware tokens for their users. Authentication Manager Express uses both risked-based authentication and on-demand authentication without the need for tokens, leveraging their current active directory structure.

The system is designed to work with SSL VPNs and Web Portals to provide protection against unauthorized access. Users continue to use their user names and passwords, while the intelligent risk engine detects abnormal behavior. If the user generally logs into the the SSL VPN from a particular workstation in Chicago, IL and is later seen trying to authenticate from a workstation in France, the system will prompt the user with a challenge question to verify their identity. The user could also be prompted for an on-demand token code that’s delivered to their mobile phone via SMS or email before they’re allowed access to the system.

I had the priviledge of being one of the few users to beta test this appliance in my lab over the past few months and I’m excited to begin talking about how organizations will be able to leverage the system. I’ve got a number of customers that have been asking for a cost effective way to implement strong authentication and RSA has finally made this possible. Building on Authentication Manager and the well known SecurID, Authentication Manger Express will help meet the needs of customers who want to use multifactor authentication and also require a system that is managable and convenient for their users.

[Photo credit to Jeff Tabaco via Flickr]