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Despite its simplicity, SMS messaging can play an extremely active role in security. Traditional security schemes used to rely on using a username and password to authenticate and give permission to a user to access a network remotely. However, in this ever increasing security-conscious environment, especially in the financial services sector, where confidentiality and information integrity are paramount to satisfy FSA regulations, users are commonly using a secure VPN connection as well as ‘two factor’ authentication.
The second factor relies on the user possessing a piece of hardware, which used to be a key fob token, to generate a second layer of security. However, due to the proliferation of mobile devices, key fob tokens are becoming obsolete and mobile phones are becoming the preferred device of choice, resulting in a large reduction in costs.
Once a user initiates the login process, whether this is an employee wanting to access the company network or a customer logging in to online banking, a One Time Password (OTP), also known as an SMS Token, can easily be sent to their mobile phone via SMS. This can either be in real-time or pre-sent, including multiple OTPs to cut costs, depending on the user’s requirements.
This methodology can also be adopted to enable customers to reset their own passwords if required, thus freeing up often overburdened helpdesk teams that would normally have to assist with the change and also identify the user. This technology is usually OAuth-compliant and links to the user account in Active Directory.
M:Science’s Web Service is embedded in SecurEnvoy’s two-factor authentication products, SecurAccess and SecurPassword, to provide a secure gateway connection to deliver OTPs and passcodes to end users. These products are in turn used by a number of leading financial and government institutions. Read more at www.securenvoy.com
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