EMC adds authentication with security acquisition

News Analysis

EMC adds authentication with security acquisition

Robert Westervelt, News Editor

EMC Corp. said Monday it has acquired Verid Inc., a Sunrise, Fla.-based security vendor specializing in identity management and authentication technology.

This helps RSA with consumer authentication techniques but eventually this could find its way into the enterprise.
Mark Diodati,
analystBurton Group

Hopkinton, Mass.-based EMC said Verid has clients that include large financial institutions, telecom providers and retailers.The acquisition is complete and the cost of the transaction is not being disclosed, EMC said in a statement.

Verid will function as a separate product line and services offering within RSA for at least the remainder of 2007, but the vendor said it plans to wrap Verid's technology into the RSA Adaptive Authentication suite. EMC acquired Bedford, Mass.-based RSA Security Inc. last year. RSA, which sells encryption software has operated as part of EMC's security division.

The RSA authentication "suite will now cover the identity verification process from end-to-end, through a new two-tier approach," the vendor said in a statement.

The acquisition will bolster RSA in the consumer authentication market, where banks and other financial firms are trying to validate users in a process called identity proofing, said Mark Diodati, an analyst with Midvale, Utah-based Burton Group. RSA competes with Mountain View, Calif.-based VeriSign and Addison, Texas based Entrust in the consumer authentication market.

"Financial institutions use this technology to determine who that person is before they reset a password or issue a token," Diodati said. "For now this helps RSA with consumer authentication techniques but eventually this could find its way into the enterprise."

RSA said its new approach includes initial authentication and ongoing authentication. The initial state determines the level of trust that can be applied to an identity. Subsequent authentication activities can be managed using levels of security based on a company's level risk.

"The acquisition of Verid both builds upon our existing set of authentication methods and -- significantly -- extends our capabilities into the preliminary vetting and verification stages of new user relationships in a variety of markets," said Christopher Young, vice president, consumer and access solutions at RSA, in a statement.

Young said the acquisition also increases the level of analytics in the RSA suite. EMC plans to combine RSA's Risk Analytics and Verid's Question Intelligence Analytics. The technology allows users to adjust a questions level of difficulty in real-time during the knowledge-based authentication process, according to the risk of each specific activity.

Verid CEO Kevin Watson will continue to lead the business, reporting directly to RSA's Christopher Young.


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