Concern over security breaches driving change in authentication market

Data protection company SafeNet, Inc. has announced the results of a new 2011 State of the Channel Authentication survey, in which more than 100 IT security resellers revealed that recent security breaches and deployment of new technologies are driving organisations to re-evaluate incumbent authentication vendors and re-think their authentication strategies.

"Recent highly-targeted security attacks have dramatically impacted enterprise and government organisations. The breadth and sophistication of these attacks is prompting organisations to review their authentication strategies and solutions some for the first time in years," said John Marler, Chief Technology Officer at SOS Security. "Now, more than ever, our customers are searching for highly flexible authentication solutions that provide security and control, and the ability to scale and adapt as an organisation's requirements evolve."

The end of year survey of more than100 IT security resellers found the following customer behaviours:

  • Three out of four resellers report that customers are "more" or "much more" concerned about security breaches now than they were a year ago.
  • More than seven out of ten resellers are actively discussing with their customers the authentication and protection of their data in the cloud and/or virtual environments.
  • Authentication for mobile devices, certificate-based authentication, software authentication, and secure browser authentication solutions top the list when it comes to customer interest in new authentication technologies.
  • More than 45 per cent of responders indicate that customers have expressed interest in these evolving solutions.
  • Sixty-seven per cent of resellers are exploring new authentication options and vendors when renewing contracts to meet evolving requirements.
  • More than 50 per cent of resellers surveyed are either currently searching or are likely to search for new authentication vendors with which to partner.

Authentication serves a vital function within any organisation securing access to corporate networks, and verifying and protecting the identities of users. Yet the recent surge in high-profile security breaches, as well as evolving environments that require entirely new considerations for access control (e.g., SaaS and cloud applications, and mobile device management), represent a shift in how trust and control is established and maintained.
Based on the events of 2011 and current market dynamics, SafeNet, who was recently recognised as an authentication leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for User Authentication, predicts continuation of the following authentication industry trends:

  • Authentication that follows the user As environments and applications become more complex, authentication solutions will need to match business and user needs, with options that can map to diverse user profiles and requirements. These solutions must also follow organisations as they add end-user-owned mobile devices to the corporate mix and move into virtualised environments.
  • Building in layers A multi-layered, data-centric approach to data protection will become the defacto standard, with organisations deploying enterprise-wide trust and control infrastructures that protect and manage sensitive data on the back end of all authentication schemes.
  • Extending from the identity to the transaction Due to an aggressive environment of breaches and a sophisticated threat landscape, authentication will extend beyond verification of user identities to the validation of transactions themselves.
  • Increased competition As authentication continues to redefine itself, organizations will evaluate authentication solutions based not on brand name, but on the technologies and innovations that demonstrate an understanding of current and future requirements, both for the business, as well as the users themselves.

"2011 was a year of evolution, and we predict that 2012 will continue to accelerate changes in the way organizations define authentication," said Tsion Gonen, Chief Strategy Officer for SafeNet. "Security breaches and advanced threats will continue to make headlines, and will continue to drive customers to demand authentication options that enable them to improve protection while accommodating rapidly evolving business and technology environments and shifting user preferences. SafeNet and our reseller partners have already seen tremendous opportunity when it comes to meeting demand for broader choice, new innovations, and a more flexible approach to authentication that can prepare organizations to scale well into the future."
SafeNet commissioned UBM, the global media and marketing services company that includes UBM Channel and CRN, to conduct the survey. UBM surveyed 110 IT security resellers.
Download a complimentary copy of the SafeNet 2011 State of the Authentication Channel Survey here

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