Thales Enables Rapid Delivery of Mobile Authentication Projects

14 November 2007

Thales, a leading supplier of IT security products and solutions for all critical infrastructures, today announced the launch of a packaged pilot version of its market-leading identity management and authentication solution, SafeSign, for mobile authentication. The pilot package is aimed at enterprises, banks and corporates, which need to implement strong authentication systems quickly and cost-effectively. The solution allows customers and employees to securely access services, such as online banking or work stations, using a mobile phone as the security token, removing the need to carry a dedicated hardware token.

As the worldwide mobile subscriber base is expected to increase from 2.6 billion at year-end 2006 to approximately 4.9 billion by year-end 2012[1], the mobile phone is increasingly becoming a ubiquitous and cost-effective platform for authentication.

Thales’ SafeSign mobile authentication pilot allows companies to quickly implement stronger security solutions in response to industry regulation or security breaches. By using the SafeSign pilot package, a strong authentication environment can be set up in under 20 minutes, revolutionising the pilot phase of a project, saving valuable time and enabling companies to react more quickly to changing security requirements.

As companies recognise the security weaknesses inherent in user ID and password log-ins, there is a growing need for two-factor authentication solutions to enhance security. Using a mobile phone for two-factor authentication is particularly attractive as there is no requirement for end users to carry a hardware token and organisations do not have to set up a new token infrastructure. Organisations can leverage the sophisticated support and distribution network that trusted mobile operators have already developed to reliably deliver services and mobile devices to millions of users.

Paul Meadowcroft, head of transaction security for the e-Security activities of Thales, commented, “Our SafeSign solution supports a range of security tokens, but the mobile phone is gaining traction as an authentication device as many of us carry our phones with us all the time. By offering this service in a pilot package, we are enabling our customers to save the time, money and resource that is often ploughed into traditional pilot projects. Such considerations are crucial at a time when many of our customers are under pressure to respond quickly to a constantly evolving security environment. The ability to easily run a proof-of-concept programme before committing to full-scale deployment also provides customers with the confidence that they are investing in a solution which will meet their business and security needs.”

Thales’ SafeSign mobile authentication pilot package offers three different levels of authentication depending on customers’ needs in terms of exposure to risk and the level of security required. One-off security details can be delivered to the user through an SMS or the handset can be configured to generate a one-time password or, for the strongest level of security, a challenge-response.

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