Verizon takes on issue of stolen credentials

Unauthorized access to corporate networks through stolen user names and passwords topped 45 percent in 2010, making credentials the second most compromised data type, according to Verizon.

To address this security threat, Verizon is enhancing its cloud-based Enterprise Identity Services to give businesses more ways to authenticate users to corporate networks while offering strong security protection.

Enterprise Identity Services will now support devices such as smartphones and tablets – including those running on the iOS operating system as well as Android and BlackBerry devices. This process will enable users to more easily gain access to corporate networks using a two-factor authentication – a process where a dynamic code is issued to the end user that is used along with a PIN. In addition, these services will now enable digital signing capabilities for contracts, wills and other legally binding documents.

Using readily available mobile devices for two-factor authentication significantly strengthens the security behind each user by incorporating additional intelligence such as phone number and location to validate a user’s identity. It also eases the implementation burden for consumers and enterprises, while offering multiple ways for users to authenticate to a network in the event their “token” is lost or stolen.

Traditionally, enterprises have used a specially issued single token or key fob to gain network access, a process that requires extensive behind-the-scenes management and deployment of tokens for sometimes tens of thousands of workers, leading to a time-consuming and resource-intensive process. It also generally does not include a built-in backup plan for lost or stolen tokens.

The new version of Enterprise Identity Services also brings digital signing capabilities to its users. Digital signatures are used in numerous industries, most commonly in the medical and legal fields. For instance, with this service, physicians can electronically prescribe controlled substances in accordance with Drug Enforcement Administration requirements. Other enterprise uses of digital signing include signing essential corporate documents, such as W-9 forms.

In conjunction with the new digital signing capabilities, Verizon Enterprise Identity Services also offers enterprise customers a mobile application known as ID Message Center, which allows users to monitor and track their digital signature activity.

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