Edited and prepared by Oscar Michel, Masters in Journalism, DCU
One of the fundamental necessities of any enterprise is to make sure that their resources are secured and there is no unauthorised use of confidential or critical data. In other words, enterprises need to know who is accessing their information and that the users are who they claim to be. So how can it be made possible? Mobile user authentication is the approach. It is the verification of an end user’s identity or validating a user’s credentials by using a mobile device and one or more authentication ways for having a secure access.
There are some effective ways to enhance security using mobile user authentication.
Policies – Introducing policies goes a long way in gauging user authentication. When making policies, it is important to know which data is sensitive, who has access to what data and so on. Introducing things such as password changes on a regular basis, asking for PIN on mobile devices, etc. are a must. Once the policies have been fixed, one needs to introduce the right authentication methods to secure authentication.
Identity management – A widely used solution, identity management also manages who has access to what data and determines what users can do on the company network and on which devices. Every member of an enterprise has specific access permissions.
Smart Cards – A smart card is nothing but a security chip with a built-in microprocessor. It is embedded in a credit card, badge or MMC/SD card. This chip provides personal identification, authentication, safe data storage and application processing. So, a user can unlock his laptop by inserting his badge into the laptop’s card reader.
Hardware tokens – Users can be authenticated with the help of small hardware devices called security tokens that generate one-time passwords (OTP). Users initially enter their login and password followed by the OTP generated by their tokens to gain access a network. This approach provides far more security since passwords are not reused or shared.
Biometrics – Biometric authentication is a process that depends on the unique biological characteristics of an individual to validate the user is who he claims to be. Biometrics are used for multi-factor authentication. This type of authentication uses fingerprints, voiceprints, iris scans, handwritten signatures and more. Biometrics are very convenient on frequently used mobile devices.
GPS – Many firms require extra security beyond ID and password for login. The use of external or added devices can make the process clumsy for employees. Smartphones can render a solution to this problem. Almost every smartphone has a built-in GPS device in them, allowing a track and confirmation of the login location. So, there is no obvious reason to buy a dedicated GPS device anymore.
Trends, Restraints and Market
In the current times, mobile user authentication has become very crucial in providing enterprise wide-security. It brings about greater transparency and visibility in the business processes. Increasing usage of Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD), rising incidences of online fraud, use of cloud-based services and increasing volume of online data exchanges are the major factors driving this market. However, there are certain factors such as lack of awareness about authentication and security, high cost involved with matured authentication acting as obstacles to the growth of the mobile user authentication market.
On the other side of the fence, industries such as Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI) as well as education are most likely to create greater opportunities in the market in future. BFSI contributed a major market share during the forecast period because of the growing need for secure identification and verification strategies.
The regions that are experiencing a growth in the mobile authentication market include North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Middle East and Africa (LAMEA).
The mobile authentication market has been segmented into small, medium and large enterprises. Organisations involved in using mobile authentication market are adopting several mechanisms to stay ahead of the competition. Many big enterprises are looking to acquire local brands. Other business activities such as joint venture and market entry in emerging economies are allowing opportunities for popular vendors to gain a strong foothold in the market and expand their business verticals.
The main important players operating in the market include CA Technologies, Symantec Corporation, EMC Corporation, Authentify Inc., Entrust Datacard Corporation, Vasco Data Security International Inc., Secureauth Corporation, Deepnet Security, Equifax, Microsoft, Mi-Token, PointSharp, Secureauth Corporation, Securenvoy PLC, Technology Nexus, TeleSign, and many others.