Leave your SecurID key at home. Just text with Clickatell

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Clickatell (SMS Text News sponsors) were in San Francisco today at the RSA Data Security Conference showcasing their on-demand authenticator SMS service.

For a while now I’ve firmly believed that this is the way to go. I used to have to carry around a SecurID card with me everywhere I went just in case I needed to be able to login to the servers. Although it did feel a little sexy carrying it when it was credit card sized, when they upgraded them to rather boring looking keychains, I switched off.

I kept forgetting mine. Worse, so did each of our IT team. It got to the point where I’d be calling them and hoping that they had their SecurID card on them — because without that there was little point in phoning them. It would be my problem to have to drive to the office.

Not with this new service from Clickatell and RSA. You can now be sent a ‘tokencode’, on-demand, via text message. You’re actually sent back an RSA-generated one-time password to use to login to the corporate network (or whatever server). The password, naturally, only has a shelf life of a few minutes before it becomes unusable. This is the sort of thing that’s going to get CIOs and CTOs relaxing and implementing it quickly, I reckon. RSA. Clickatell. They know what they’re doing.

Here’s the overview from the Clickatell service page:

RSA and Clickatell have partnered to enable delivery of SecurID ® tokencodes to mobile devices via SMS/text. You can now extend the benefits of the market leading two-factor authentication solution to users mobile handsets. Clickatell’s global messaging service enables users to request and receive tokencodes with assured delivery on the most extensive, carrier-grade infrastructure available. Clickatell reaches over 200 countries and 600+ networks.

Using RSA Authentication Manager 7.1 and Clickatell, IT staff can support a simple self-service model for provisioning without the involvement of helpdesk resources. The joint solution allows Enterprises to on-board users when business needs demand:

– VPN access for occasional users or temporary access for employees regardless of their location
– Two-factor authentication for contractors and vendor partners
– Access for large numbers of users in a business disruption scenario

I’ve had a few people ask now and again so I thought I’d post this final para: Just in case you were wondering about our sponsor, Clickatell, they’re a global messaging leader. One of the biggies, focusing on mobile messaging services for small, medium and huge enterprises across a range of verticals. They’re connected to 700 networks in over 200 countries, serving more than 8,000 customers including the likes of Barclays, BBC, CNN, Continental Airlines, First National Bank, Metropolitan Life, Oracle, Shell. A veritable who’s who. And they’re Sequoia-backed too.

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