Products of the Year: Authentication and authorization

Information Security magazine unveils the best authentication and authorization products of 2004.

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GOLD MEDAL: SecurID
RSA Security, www.rsasecurity.com
Rating: 80

It's impossible to think of two-factor authentication without thinking of RSA Security and its SecurID. Since 1986, SecurID has defined AAA (authentication, authorization and accounting), making it an obvious choice for our gold award.

Multifactor authentication depends on more than a token that can't be reverse-engineered and won't break when users fling them on the kitchen table with their keys and spare change. The SecurID system offers the application support, management/deployment capabilities and reputation for reliability and technical support that give it real-world utility in every type of enterprise.

"RSA fills the obvious security niche for two-factor authentication," says a director of operations security. "It does a particularly good job of implementation and making it easy to manage."

Organizations can deploy SecurID through a variety of hardware and software tokens for Windows workstations, and a variety of handheld devices and wireless phones. But it's what's behind those tokens that attracts and keeps customers, and makes SecurID an enterprise-caliber product of choice. With widespread interoperability with major IT and security companies, SecurID offers authenticated access to data and applications through VPNs, wireless networks, e-mail, intranet/extranet and Web servers. Its agent software extends support to proprietary applications.

SecurID's scalability is a critical factor, enabling large enterprises to deploy and manage authentication for millions of users and hundreds of applications through its Authentication and Deployment managers. The bundled Deployment Manager is automated, Web-based provisioning software that enables quick token deployment. Its self-service capability reduces the drain on IT staffs and help desks.

Beyond SecurID's attractive features, confidence in RSA Security may be the product's biggest selling point.

"Out of any vendor I've ever dealt with, RSA has the best technical support. It's amazing," says a director of security operations.

SILVER MEDAL: Active Directory
Microsoft, www.microsoft.com
Rating: 74

USER COMMENTS: "Active Directory is a stable and secure method of authentication throughout the corporate infrastructure."

BRONZE MEDAL:Tivoli Identity Manager
IBM Tivoli, www.ibm.com/software/tivoli
Rating: 73

USER COMMENTS: "Tivoli is an enterprise standard and a great ID management tool."

MORE 2004 PRODUCTS OF THE YEAR


This was first published in January 2005

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