RSA Security has had a long time to build that user base. The company has been in the security business since the early 1990s, with early product lines focusing on data encryption and ID security. The first SecurID product was created to help companies deal with the challenge of remote users. Companies were comfortable using passwords for security within the building, but wanted something stronger to authenticate remote users.
SecurID uses an electronic tokenor software on a phone, PDA, or laptopthat generates a new random number every sixty seconds. The user enters his or her PIN along with that random number to log in, for what the company calls two-factor authentication.
"Customers are using this with road warriors, with mobile employees," says RSA marketing manager John Masotta. "Some are even giving it out to high-value business partners."
RSAs win in the Datamation readers poll was for SecurID Appliance, a hardware solution the company introduced a year-and-a-half ago. Businesses install SecurID Appliance to handle the remote authentication step in-house. With its easy set-up, users can have it running in just 15 minutes. While the first versions scaled up to only 250 users, the current appliance can support as many as 50,000 end users.
The appliance proved so popular that many existing customers switched to it when it was time for them to upgrade their accounts.
"The appliance has a very nice graphical front end that a lot of customers saw a lot of value in," says Masotta. Having the appliance in-house also helps out with managing day-to-day tasks, such as helping users with lost tokens or assigning tokens to new users.
"Our customers are very satisfied the RSA SecureID appliance and continue to find new and interesting ways of applying it," adds Masotta. "I think the Datamation award validates for us the satisfaction that customers have with the appliance."
Users in the Field
It's hard to pin down who the typical SecurID Appliance user is, but many are in the financial or health fields, which require strict confidentiality of patient records or financial records.
We needed a two-factor authentication solution with top-notch integration capabilities that would comply with Criminal Justice Information Services regulations. We evaluated several and selected the RSA SecurID Appliance, says Gary Estes, Manager, Warren County (Ohio) Data Systems.
RSA SecurID Appliance was easy to deploy and manage in our data center, and since RSA SecurID technology is certified to interoperate with over 300 applications it has integrated seamlessly into our existing infrastructure.
If you're interested in trying SecurID Appliance, pricing starts at $4,000 for the hardware, software, and tokens for 10 users. Adding additional users costs $50 per user, plus a service fee.