I've leveraged two-factor authentication for my personal banking for about five years. But I've never really thought of it as a managed security service opportunity. Until now. The reason: Tata Communications says it's working with RSA (the security division of EMC) on a managed security service that involves two-factor authentication. Here are some quick details.
Generally speaking, two-factor authentication (T-FA or 2-FA) involves "something you know" (like a password) and something you have (like a token security card). With that approach in mind, Tata Communications has launched a new hosted service that...
"authenticates users before they are granted access to their organization's applications, data, services, and network devices. Users enter a personal identification number (PIN) and a six digit one-time passcode displayed on a token. Depending on their security policies and end users' preferences, customers can choose to use software or hardware tokens. Software tokens provide increased convenience as users no longer need to carry a separate device. Instead, they can leverage everyday mobile devices that they already own and carry such as smart phones and PDAs, or their own desktop."Frankly, a hosted two-factor authentication system sounds far beyond the scope of most small MSPs. But I'm checking to see if Tata Communications plans to white label the service to smaller MSPs and VARs.
Overall, managed security remains low-hanging fruit for most MSPs. More and more security software companies -- from Kaspersky to Sophos -- are preparing MSP-oriented partner programs. And nearly 80 percent of MSPmentor 100 survey participants say they offer some form of managed security. (The complete MSPmentor 100 survey results will be announced on a Feb. 10 webcast.)