Blog posts by Dave Kearns


Authentication: Multi-Factor, Adaptive and Continuous

In the 35 years we’ve had personal computers, tablets and smartphones, authentication has meant a username and password (or Personal Identification Number, PIN) for most people. Yet other methods, and other schemes for using those methods, have been available for at least the past 30 years. As we look to replace ─ or at least augment ─ passwords, it’s time to re-examine these methods and schemes. Multi-factor refers to using at least two of the three generally agreed authentication methods: something you know; something you have; and something you are....


Adaptive authentication explained

To understand what this article is about it’s important that we have an agreement on what we mean when we use the term “adaptive authentication”. It isn’t a difficult concept, but it’s best if we’re all on the same page, so to speak. First, the basics: authentication is the ceremony which allows someone to present credentials which allow access to something. Typically and traditionally this is a username/password combination. But username/password is only one facet of one factor of authentication and we usually speak of three possible factors,...


Who will become the Google, Facebook or Apple of Life Management Platforms?

A Life Management Platform (LMP) allows individuals to access all relevant information from their daily life and manage its lifecycle, in particular data that is sensitive and typically paper-bound today, like bank account information, insurance information, health information, or the key number of their car. Three years ago, at EIC 2012, one of the major topics was Life Management Platforms (LMPs), which was described as “a concept which goes well beyond the limited reach of most of today’s Personal Data Stores and Personal Clouds. It will fundamentally affect the way...


The Right BYOx Strategy

For the past few years BYOD – Bring Your Own Device – has been a hot topic, often leading to shouting matches between IT and users who want to use their own mobile devices to access corporate assets. Lately, it’s been a more generic “BYO” (Bring Your Own) them with the aforementioned D (device) but also A (apps), I (identity) and P (platform) as well as countless others churned out by a vendor’s marketing machine. In fact, little of this is new. Over 30 years ago users were bringing their own device (PCs) and apps (Visicalc, Lotus 1-2-3, etc.) into...


New Newsletter Season to come: KC Analysts' View

It’s a new year, and there are some new changes coming to KuppingerCole, especially in the material that will come into your inbox. First, some background. After the past year or so we’ve been growing by leaps and bounds with new offices in Europe and the Asia-Pacific area as well as new analysts all over the map. With that has come an increase in the amount of email we’ve sent out, so now it’s time to get a better handle on that.  From now on, you’ll receive, aside from webinar and event invitations, two emails a month: our standard newsletter and a new format which will have up to 3...


No phishing allowed!

Happy New Year everyone! We’ve just come through what’s probably the biggest gift giving month of the year – most of you, I’m sure, unwrapped more than one present. So let me ask a couple of questions. If there was a pretty package, with no tag identifying the giver – would you open it? If the tag said it was from a friend, using their Facebook name – would you open it? If the tag said it was from a co-worker, but not one you’re very close to – would you open it? Let’s change the scene just a bit, and imagine that it was an email you received, with an attachment that the email...


2013 – The End of Innocence?

Many people have begun thinking of 2013 as the Year That Changed Everything, at least in the area of privacy. From the Snowden leaks thru the many iterations of Facebook’s privacy policy, from the implications of the Internet of Things through Google’s troubles with the EU’s various Data Privacy laws it seems that privacy was on everybody’s mind. In January, NSA contractor Edward Snowden made contact with The Guardian and the Washington Post and by now we’re all familiar with the revelations of state-sponsored surveillance he revealed. Primarily concerned with the US government, and...


Safer, stronger authentication

In my last post (“ Dogged Determination ”) I briefly mentioned the FIDO alliance (Fast Identity Online) with the promise to take a closer look at the emerging internet password-replacing-authentication system this time. So I will. But first, an aside. It’s quite possible that the alliance chose the acronym “FIDO” first, then found words to fit the letters. Fido, at least in the US, is a generic name for a dog which came into general use in the mid 19 th century when President Abraham Lincoln named his favorite dog Fido. Choosing a word associated with dogs harkens back to the internet...


Dogged Determination

Some colleagues and I got into a short discussion about the FIDO alliance last week. That’s the Fast Identity Online Alliance, which was formed in July 2012 with the aim of addressing the lack of interoperability among strong authentication devices. They also wish to do something about the problems users face with creating and remembering multiple usernames and passwords. According to their web site , “the FIDO Alliance plans to change the nature of authentication by developing specifications that define an open, scalable, interoperable set of mechanisms that supplant reliance on...


BYOI Revisited

Some time ago, in the wake of Wired journalist Mat Honan’s story of his account compromise (“ How Apple and Amazon Security Flaws Led to My Epic Hacking ”), I wrote about  BYOI – Bring Your Own Identity – and how “In the enterprise, there’s even less reason to support today’s BYOI.” Some time before that, my colleague Martin Kuppinger had also addressed this issue (“ Bring Your Own Identity? Yes. And No ”), dismissing the BYOI idea as simply a small piece of a much larger system. But I think we need to re-address this issue. First, the term “BYOI” as it’s commonly used is...

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