The Embedded Software Beat - Part 1 with VASCO

A Q&A with Jan Valcke, President & COO of VASCO (part 1)

This interview is the latest in an ongoing series we conduct with embedded software solution providers to share views on their company, products, and state of the market.

VDC: VASCO has been in the authentication business for over 20 years; can you briefly introduce the company to our readers?

Valcke: VASCO is a leading supplier of strong authentication and e-signature solutions and services specializing in Internet Security applications and transactions. VASCO has positioned itself as global software company for Internet Security serving a customer base of approximately 10,000 companies in more than 100 countries, including approximately 1,700 international financial institutions. VASCO’s prime markets are the financial sector, enterprise security, e-commerce and e-government.

VASCO offers its products in two models: a sales/license or a services model. The sales/license model is the traditional market approach whereby VASCO’s authentication solutions are installed on-premises with the customer. With its services model - comprising of DIGIPASS as a Service and MYDIGIPASS.COM - VASCO offers customers a complete managed in-the-cloud authentication service.

MYDIGIPASS.COM combines high-level security with the ultimate user convenience. VASCO created MYDIGIPASS.COM for application service providers (ASPs) who want to give their customers the opportunity to secure access to their data and information at all times on all online applications.

VDC: How would you categorize the market for consumer authentication solutions at this point in time? Why is consumer security such a hard sell?

Valcke: Consumer security does not necessarily have to be a hard sell. With recent hacking elaborately covered in the media, consumers nowadays are increasingly aware of the importance of Internet security and the possible risks of Internet fraud.

The banking sector has embraced two-factor authentication for several years. Most banks worldwide have implemented an obligatory authentication process and consumers expect nothing less when it comes to safeguarding its banking accounts and related credentials. In the gaming sector, two-factor authentication is widespread as well. Gaming providers offer strong authentication as an optional feature and dedicated gamers have jumped on this opportunity in order to secure their valuable gaming paraphernalia.

Other verticals will soon follow. E-commerce website owners recognize the fact that security can be used as a competitive advantage and that offering their customers peace of mind might boost customer retention. As authentication solutions become less obsolete and more user convenient, the reluctance towards implementing security solutions will dwindle. With the current offering of hosted authentication solutions, there are even less objections towards integrating two-factor authentication as the entire authentication process is taken care of. Now the e-shops can focus on their core business: selling.

VDC: How does VASCO’s MYDIGIPASS.COM product address the challenges of adding security to consumer-facing websites?

Valcke: MYDIGIPASS.COM is a hosted consumer authentication platform that combines high-level security with the ultimate user convenience. Consumers can download a free DIGIPASS application on their mobile device to securely log on to tens of thousands of B-to-B and B-to-C web applications through MYDIGIPASS.COM. The DIGIPASS application generates dynamic one-time passwords to securely log on to various websites. As such, dynamic passwords replace highly insecure static passwords and facilitate password management. Consumers no longer need to retain a list of username-password combinations for each website on which they created an account.

Once logged on to the platform, consumers can access every website integrated on the platform with one click of a mouse. The authentication verification process is taken care of in the back-end offering end-users the benefits of a single sign-on environment. Furthermore, MYDIGIPASS.COM enables consumers to manage their online credentials in one trusted place.

For websites that have not yet integrated MYDIGIPASS.COM the platform offers the possibility to store log in credentials in an encrypted password vault. Passwords will be securely stored and can only be accessed using the combination of the consumer’s pin and his one-time password generated by the app on his mobile device.

For ASPs the benefits are evident. By adding two-factor authentication they are able to boost customer trust and they can use MYDIGIPASS.COM as a competitive advantage. Costs related to password management are severely reduced. By integrating a hosted authentication solution, upfront investments are no longer required. ASPs only pay for the capacity they actually use. Moreover, the solution is highly scalable and thus future proof as capacity can easily be expanded.