As the financial sector opens up its networks to facilitate information exchanges across a wider range of stakeholders, it is exposed to an increasing number of sophisticated e-crimes, such as financial fraud and identity theft. As a result, the industry has recognised that a static username and password is no longer an adequate identifier to verify a user and, at the same time, fails to reassure users that they are communicating with an authentic website. Celo has been created to address such growing online threats, and meet the demand for more robust online security measures which are simple to implement and convenient to use.
Celo is a strong and user friendly 2FA solution. During the standard login process to an internet application, such as a website or intranet, the user is automatically sent a one-time-password (OTP) to their mobile phone, PDA, email account, or even via instant message. When prompted by the web application, the OTP is entered by the user. The password is specific to that user and only valid for a set period after which it expires. With the combination of a static user name / password, and issue of a real-time OTP via an independent medium such as a mobile phone, both parties can verify their identity and be confident that the communication has not been corrupted.
Michael Robertson, Managing Director of Commerce Media and creator of Celo, comments: âCelo is simple and scalable. A tool kit is provided to configure the system quickly, and once established can instantly be used to authenticate 1 or more than 100,000 users. The client decides the length and complexity of the password and its validation period, for example a few minutes, hours or days. Dispatching OTPs via text messaging or e-mail offers many key benefits including a reduced cost of implementation as no special devices need to be distributed to users, user familiarity with the technology, and, with the publicâs general reliance on their mobile phones, the continual availability of this interface.â
Following an initial pilot of the technology, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has become the first user of Celo. Its Disposal Services Authority (DSA) - which sells surplus stock ranging from socks to military vehicles - has implemented the solution to verify pre-authorised contractors before they can access the site to list products for sale.
Michael concludes: âAs an information security provider, endorsement of our 2FA solution by the MoD is about as good as it gets. At Commerce Media we have always adhered to the strictest ISO security standards and the success of Celo to secure the DSAâs website is a fantastic testimony to our information security credentials.â