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Entersekt assists FIDO Alliance in promoting stronger authentication technologies through standardised security protocols

As the war on fraud rages on, financial institutions must retool with more sophisticated security measures in order to prevent breaches of their systems. Motivated to play a first-hand role in strengthening online security, Entersekt, an innovative pioneer in transaction authentication, joined the FIDO (Fast IDentity Online) Alliance in 2013 and has been a key participant in helping to design the security guidelines for online users unveiled to the public in March.

The core goals driving FIDO are ease of use, privacy and security, and standardisation. Made up of many of today's leading technology companies, such as Google, PayPal and Lenovo, the alliance strives to reduce reliance on passwords to authenticate online users and is actively working to define a standard to allow newer, stronger authentication technologies to work together in the same secure ecosystem.

Entersekt shares many of the same convictions common among members of the alliance, and its patented technology already adheres to the key guidelines and specifications designed by FIDO. "In 2014, we are working hard to deliver a fully functional FIDO-ready token, based on our Transakt product line," added Christiaan Brand, chief technology officer of Entersekt. "This will allow Transakt users to interoperate with all online service providers that support FIDO tokens, simply by using their mobile phones."

By developing a standard protocol to designate a vendor as "FIDO-compliant," organisations can intelligently determine which authentication provider or providers they make available to their customers and avoid having to deploy replacement technology when partnering with new vendors. End-users will enjoy the freedom to use the authentication factor they are most comfortable with and leverage the same single authenticator for multiple services.

"Previously, organisations looking to enhance authentication security beyond a user-created- or one-time-password were met with the daunting task of sifting through a large pool of vendors and protocols to select the right method for their customers," said Brand. "FIDO has eliminated the headache of implementing new authentication capabilities by standardising the client and protocol layers through public key cryptography, allowing client authentication methods, such as biometrics, PINs and other second factors, to be used interchangeably for online services."

Through simple prompts on their mobile devices, Transakt allows users to authenticate themselves to online services, such as banking. It simultaneously verifies both the service provider and the mobile device in use, eliminating the need for expensive hardware tokens or cumbersome one-time passwords. Transakt is certified to authenticate online Visa, MasterCard and American Express card transactions and is compatible with hundreds of models of mobile phones on all major platforms.

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