RSA Releases Authentication Manager Express

The risk-based and on-demand authentication system is designed to provide secure access to VPNs and online portals.

EMC's security division, RSA, announced its Authentication Manager Express. The newest strong authentication platform is a risk-based and on-demand authentication system designed for small to medium-size businesses to provide up to 2,500 users with secure access to data and business applications through SSL Virtual Private Networks and online portals.

The system employs an intelligent risk engine engineered to provide invisible, behind-the-scenes protection of Web-based resources against unauthorized access. The company said Authentication Manager Express would be generally available in Q1 2011 through authorized RSA resellers and distributors.

Users continue to employ their standard username and password, and security is stepped up when the risk engine detects abnormal behavior, requiring users to correctly answer personal challenge questions and/or enter SMS- or email-delivered one-time passcodes before access is granted. The platform uses a layered approach for added strength of security and is invisible to users unless authentication is outside of established policy.

"There has always been a need for strong authentication in small and midsize organizations, yet adoption has been slow because most offerings have fallen short of meeting the cost and convenience needs of these customers," said Sally Hudson, research analyst at IT research firm IDC. "Previous enterprise-class solutions have traditionally been too costly to deploy and manage for smaller organizations; cheaper alternatives lacked end-user convenience and didn't provide multi-layered protection. RSA Authentication Manager Express combines the best of RSA's expertise and innovation in enterprise and consumer authentication technology to provide the right balance of security, simplicity and features required by smaller organizations."

Additional features include audit capabilities to help organizations track what users are accessing to meet changing compliance regulations and canned reports help simplify proving compliance. Seamless integration with leading SSL VPNs and Web servers requires minimal IT resources.

"Most authentication solutions are geared toward the enterprise, but this platform is appliance-based and much more accessible for midmarket organizations," Morten Ekeroth Stenfeldt, product manager and team leader of IT security at Denmark-based distributor SEC DataCom A/S. "Being quick and simple to deploy as well, it's a compelling offering for midsize businesses and we look forward to helping our resellers engage with them by providing new security solutions based on RSA Authentication Manager Express."

Justin Mescher, CTO of Integrated Data Storage Solutions, said RSA's product is cost-competitive, implements seamlessly into almost any IT environment and is designed to be one of the easiest ways to add another layer of security to resources that require user remote access. "Coupled with an expanded set of RSA SecurWorld reseller training resources and benefits, we expect Authentication Manager Express will help us drive new interest among midmarket customers that were previously hesitant to consider strong authentication solutions priced and designed for larger enterprises," he said.