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Authentication

Gold Award:

RSA SecurID (2007)

RSA SecurID (2007)

For Andy Pruitt, chief technology officer for Backstop Solutions Group, an application service provider (ASP) for hedge funds, RSA was the only vendor that worked with its particular integration needs. "They took the ASP space seriously," says Pruitt. "[Other vendors] didn't get it. The integration level we needed was deep because we had to be able to control the administration."

Web-based services, compliance and the continual onslaught of data breaches are fueling the market for stronger authentication. As a vendor with more than 20 years experience, it came as no surprise that RSA Security and its SecurID came on top.

The reasons it edged out its competitors: ease of use, integration and compatibility, according to readers who use the product.

When Backstop Solutions Group started to look at authentication solutions last July, it brought in a number of vendors. Initial meetings went well, says Pruitt, but when Backstop started to get more specific about its needs, "that's when things started to fall apart," says Pruitt. Backstop's development environment was JBoss, "and when you are Java-based there is no comparison [between RSA and other vendors]," Pruitt says.

While Pruitt was willing to make the authentication investment because his users are high net-worth customers, traditionally cost has been a barrier to the market's widespread growth, say industry watchers.

Toffer Winslow, vice president of product management and product marketing for RSA, disagrees. While RSA SecurID tokens appear higher priced, he admits, "when you evaluate total cost of ownership and the amount of integration, we are much better [priced] than the competition," he says. Because of a rigorous certification process, RSA has been working with 300 of the top applications. "We know they work with SecurID," Winslow says.

In fact more than three quarters of readers surveyed said they were pleased with the ROI and felt they were getting their money's worth from SecurID.

And RSA has continued to innovate beyond tokens to secure other types of devices and applications. At RSA Conference 2006, the company unveiled the SecurID Toolbar Token and RSA SecurID SID900 Transaction Signing Token to secure online transactions through digital signatures. The company, now a division of EMC, also recently announced partnerships with Research in Motion, SanDisk and Motorola, among others, to use its technology to secure BlackBerries, cell phones and USB flash drives.

"The goal is to get RSA credentials everywhere," says Winslow.

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