About acenseo

Acenseo is a leading secure systems integrator providing innovative and adaptive secure networking solutions to the public and private sectors. Based in Berkshire, our UK Head Quarters are home to extensive proof of concept labs, showcasing most of the vendor solutions from our key vendors partners. It also hosts our training centre and our manned 24x7x365 support operations. We genuinely understand that businesses need to adapt their infrastructure to promote and support change, to increase agility and scalability , while reducing overall costs. More importantly however, we know how this can be done and show businesses exactly how to achieve it.Our technology partnerships are supported by the comprehensive Ascend services portfolio which includes Ascend ID, Ascend CONSULT, Ascend TRAIN, Ascend SUPPORT, and Ascend MANAGE.

The Power of Biometrics as Used in Two Factor Authentication Solutions

Biometrics makes use of parts of the human body to authenticate systems. Two factor authentication solutions use a second factor besides passwords to verify the identity of a user of the system. These two can be used together to provide an even more powerful and easy to implement security system.

Second and Third Factors

It is important to note that the biometrics can be used either as the second factor or the third factor of the system. When used as a 3rd factor, a token may be used in place of as the 2nd factor.

The two factors are sufficient for most small business security applications. Small and medium sized business also needs the system to be simple and unobtrusive, so that people do not have to apply unnecessary effort to access basic resources in the organization.

System Remains Uninterrupted

Hosted two factor authenticated services can either use something you are i.e. biometrics such as finger prints, or something you have; this may include the usual tokens such as smartcards. The main advantage of biometrics as the second factor is that it is difficult to lose it and cannot be stolen unlike the smart cards and mobile phone that are used as security authentication tokens.

The use of finger print and retina scanners has brought down the cost dramatically for companies seeking to use these services. They do not need to buy tokens for every single user of the system. A few biometric readers can save the company a lot of money.

Significant Cost Savings

This also means that the two factor authentication solutions that use these technologies are much easier to deploy. There is also no need to replace stolen cards since people will hardly ever loose their eyes or hands. This leads to cost savings and allows the user’s privileges to use the system without the inconveniences of having to wait for a token to be replaced.

Using hosted two factor authenticated services makes the deployment of the security system even easier to manage. Having a quality cloud solution combined with biometrics increases flexibility of the system and makes it easy to recover in case of downtimes and system failures.

Why Cloud Authentication is the Best System for the Changing Organization

Before cloud computing became common place and a popular way for business organizations to access applications and resources, the network infrastructure worked differently. Network administration was centralized and controlled by an administrator. The infrastructure worked by limiting access to resources through groups.

Change in Infrastructure

Cloud authentication however, has changed how this security systems work. Organizations choose the system because they can outsource the work of maintaining such systems and reduce overheads of maintaining it. The cost of deployment is also one of the things that has led these organizations to choose this security system.

One of the differences with the cloud authentication system, over the traditional in house network infrastructure, is how information and resources are accessed. Unlike the traditional infrastructure, the resources are accessed through the workflow rather than through limiting access to assets.

Access to Resources

The result is that there is greater flexibility while at the same time increasing the security capabilities. This system mirrors the modern workplace, in the information age that we are currently living in. The workplace has changed and given way to a new style of management that is centered on how information is shared.

Currently, management is more horizontal than is vertical. There is less emphasis on the top down approach to authority. The information is managed from where it emerges rather than from always seeking permission and access tough the traditional mode of management.

Changing Workplace

There is therefore need for SMS 2 factor authentication system that can give more power to certain users, so that the information flow is fast. Only this type of infrastructure can adequately support the changing market place. Sticking to the old systems will only lead to inefficiencies.

There are now more remote and temporary workers in the workplace. This means that organizations must accommodate them, ensure their flexibility, while at the same time keeping the security of the organization at its best.

SMS 2 factor authentication can provide a flexible infrastructure that can support them and still maintain security. It is flexible, robust and cross platform, this means it suitable for workplaces seeking uncomplicated systems that are effective.

Security and Control with Hosted Two Factor Authentication Services

Hosted two factor authentication services are meant for improving the levels of security in accessing information from different systems. This service is the best way of curbing the problem of identity thievery which has seen many companies loses very sensitive information. There are several challenges that make it necessary for companies to incorporate this service. These are challenges like mastering of passwords and use of company directories by multiple persons. This does not only minimize the security risks but it is also economical in terms of money and time.

Support

For you to be able to reap true satisfaction in using sms 2 factor authentications the company offering it should be able to provide daily needed support services. There should be a manner of resetting passwords. The other thing to be looked at is the manner in which breach of access is reported, how certificates are to be revoked and the replacement procedure in case anything is damaged. There should not be any backdoors for anyone as this weakens the security system put in place.

Benefits

With hosted two factor authentication services, one monitoring works for everything else therefore you are able to note what is under utilised, over utilised and what is not being utilised. External users are secure since authentication is delivered in form of mobile texts and emails depending on what they prefer. This enables you to be able to use all the applications you want to depending on the identity given. There are questions that have been asked concerning this method. There are those who believe that a server based authentication system is more secure while others state that the text method is complicated when it comes to use and implementation but looking at figures it is estimated that a high per cent of businesses are going for cloud storage.

Acceptance

For sms 2 factor authentications to be accepted then the users it is intended for should be clearly specified. The hardware and software to be used should also be known. What external and internal user’s access in terms of software and hardware should also be different? This is done to reduce complications that might arise during use.

Step Up the Security of your Business Critical Data

Today, we live in a global market where a business just doesn’t have to deal with local competitors, but also competitors from all over the world. The world of business can get pretty ruthless sometimes, with competitors trying to gain an edge utilizing any means necessary. Data theft is one of the most used ways to defeat a company in the market. Your sensitive business information, if leaked, can go on to mean quite some nasty things. More than often, we have seen businesses having to shut down as a result of data theft. Hence the need to secure your business related data should be one of your prime concerns. Here’s a look into some of the solutions available today.

Two Factor Authentication

This is an authentication process that requires the user, trying to access services on a computer or a network, to provide two out of three factors of authentication. This form of authentication is highly effective against phishing and key logging. Since the user has to present two factors for authentication, it is much more effective than the username/password infrastructure. Hence it would be impossible for anyone to break in with just the knowledge of a user id and pin combination.  Token is generally the second factor that has to be presented for authentication, but the latest technology doesn’t even require tokens.

Tokenless Two Factor Authentication

To overcome the limitations of token authentication system, the tokenless authentication was developed. It is easier to deploy and maintain this system. A Smartphone can replace the token and hence provide a highly practical solution. People carry their phones everywhere and hence it would be much easier to implement this security protocol. Look for a security solutions provider who has an SMS system. This way, even Smartphones are not a requirement. Any device that can send an SMS would work for such a setup. Tokenless system is a very effective system that is being used by many organizations all over the world. Search out for a security services provider who can help you install and maintain such innovative solutions for your business.

Benefits of USSD when used as a Solution for Two factor Authentication for Mobile

A lot has been said about mobile phone applications and their benefits, but one platform that has often been ignored is the USSD. USSD stands for Unstructured Supplementary Service Data and is a standard used on all GSM networks to provide important services to mobile network subscribers. They have several key benefits when used for two factor authentication for mobile.

Adding Layers of Security

One of the key benefits with this system is the added layer of security it can provide. It has been used for mobile payments and to help complete bank transaction through a mobile device. In order to provide secure 2 factor authentication service a one time password is provided through this system.

The USSD works mainly through codes and is an instant service. The subscriber requests a service and it provides a response instantaneously. For 2FA applications a secure password that expires in 30 seconds is sent. In case the password is not entered on time, it becomes invalid. This works better with USSD than with SMS/Text due to the instantaneous nature of the former.

Works on All Platforms

Another unique benefit of USSD when used for secure 2 factor authentication service is that it is cross platform. It can work on virtually any phone whether a Smartphone or the most primitive of mobile phones in the market.

There is no need to install any new software and all that is required is for the subscriber to use an easy to remember 3 or 4 digit number. This means that it is user friendly and can be used with little or no instruction.

Fast and Inexpensive Deployment

USSD is also perfect for two factor authentication for mobile, particularly when the speed of deployment is an issue. This is the fastest and cost effective method, particularly if the speed with which users learn the new system is also put into consideration.

Secure Your Online Data with Cloud Authentication

Transferring data on cloud services will dramatically decrease your overhead expenses so why aren’t more companies migrating to this platform? One of the major considerations of cloud is the security aspect. Not too many corporations are willing to risk compromising important data by storing them online. The cautiousness is warranted because of the amount of stolen data over the years. With that said, the technology in securing your data has increased exponentially, with cloud authentication service for example.

What is cloud authentication?

Cloud authentication is a security service offered by third party vendor to address threats that are focused on your cloud-based apps. You might have already availed of this service without realizing it like, for instance, when you are enrolling or transacting through online banking. The beauty of this technology is that it allows authorized users to easily access your account.

Additional security layer

The authentication process involves multi-factor authentication solution for better security. The common layer used is in this case is the 2 Factor Authentication. This is a firewall that requires two or more factors.  

The first prompt is a question only the user knows such as the password or PIN, second is something that only the user has such as mobile phone or ATM card and third is something that only the user is such as the fingerprint, for example. With the increased use of mobile phones, there’s also the SMS 2 Factor Authentication to secure mobile data.

No additional infrastructure

When you avail of cloud authentication service, you don’t have to spend for additional infrastructure as the third-party vendor already has that in place. That means no additional costs incurred on your part. And because the technology is already there, adopting it for your own system is seamless and you don’t have to miss any time on your work operations.

How the Two Factor Authentication Mobile Tehchnology has Evolved into a More secure System

In the past year or so, the adoption of two factor authentication mobile technology has been rapid. Many organizations in the healthcare, banking sector and even social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter have adopted this technology. This is a vote of confidence in the technology and its versatility, which previously was complicated to implement.

New Technology

The introduction of the mobile phone made it possible to get rid of the plastic tokens that were often sent to customers. The solution allowed for faster deployment of the system without the need for an extra token. However, the infrastructure needed improvements for both the smart phone and the ordinary cell phone.

Improved Security

The first step that engineers worked on was a more secure system, which was not vulnerable to DoS or man in the middle attacks. The new systems work on sending the secret code through a different network, such as the GSM network, which makes the system harder for hackers to attack.

Smartphone and SMS Technology

The two factor authentication mobile technology can be implemented though the smart phone. The smart phone provides a higher data capacity than the ordinary phone. An app installed on the phone helps to implement a sophisticated system that is more secure.

The other thing that was done when trying to make the Secure 2 factor authentication service more secure was to implement a onetime SMS code that had a rotational mechanism, which ensured that the codes were not compromised, incase hackers could get their hands on them. Many solutions also back up the codes in case the devices get lost.

As all these improvements are made to the existing Secure 2 factor authentication service, there is the risk of making it cumbersome and complex. A good system should also be easy to use, otherwise users will find be reluctant to adopt it.