Executive Viewpoint 2013 Prediction: SecurEnvoy

Andy Kemshall (Profile)
Friday, January 25th 2013

While many are worried by the euro-zone crisis, back here on home soil I don't see our financial situation dramatically improving - in fact things are set to get worse before they get better. Everyone is feeling the pinch – people and businesses. Office space is at a premium, utility bills continue to rise, fuel duty is set to put the pump price even higher, and I could go on but you get the picture. I believe people, and the companies they work for, will start to think smarter about where they work.

The way I see this playing out is businesses looking to reduce their overheads, and employees looking to cut their spending, will both look to embrace home working. We may even see more organisations move to become completely 'virtual'. Let's face it, we're all grown ups so don't need constant supervision, and with technological advancements this is a viable alternative. Instead of the daily trudge to the office, employees will remotely connect to the organisation's infrastructure - securely I hope. Physical interaction will be replaced by conference calls, with weekly or even monthly creation and collaboration opportunities pre-arranged to exchange information.

In addition, for many years I've argued that hardware based tokens have had their day, and the attack against EMC’s RSA division last year proved to many that these tokens are fundamentally flawed. I see two things happening over the next twelve months in this area:

  1. Now that the criminals have realised where the keys to everyone's kingdom are kept, we will see more attacks against organisations, like RSA, who store their clients' seed files. The fact is malicious individuals understand that this information can be compromised and what they can do with it- it's been proven! I've said it before, and I'll say it again, the most secure method of two-factor authentication is to randomly generate any required keys within the customer's own environment.
  2. Organisations will move from hardware to software based tokens to authenticate users. You could say this isn't really a prediction, as in truth the exodus to tokenless has already started, with the analysts estimating that 50% of all hardware tokens have already been replaced with tokenless two factor authentication – but I predict this will grow even higher by this time next year, perhaps to 60%.