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Passwords are a “universal headache" says Beyond Identity's VP for EMEA.
December 21, 2021
There’s a huge opportunity for the channel to help customers ditch their passwords, says Beyond Identity.
VP for EMEA Tony Shadrake is building a channel to take the vendor’s passwordless solutions to market. He said that because of cultural and technical shifts during COVID-19, identity-first security represents how many workers will function in the future. This is regardless of whether they’re remote or office-bound.
“Gartner predicts that 90% of midsize enterprises will implement some kind of passwordless method by the end of next year. So there are some aggressive goals and predictions out there around this space,” he said.
“From a partner perspective, there’s a tremendous opportunity to take on and push a stronger authentication platform than they have,” he added.
Shadrake said there are obvious downsides to passwords and the current multifactor authentication (MFA) options available. These encompass both user friction and security vulnerabilities.
Beyond Identity’s Tony Shadrake
“Everyone agrees that passwords are a universal headache. If we want to log into our bank account we get a text message or a pin that’s sent to us. Although we’re comfortable with receiving that pin or text message, it’s annoying,” he said. “If you look at particularly over the past 18 months, 80% of ransomware attacks are due to stolen credentials or account takeovers. There’s this dichotomy where everybody knows that passwords or credentials represent a massive security gap. But we’re comfortable with what we’ve implemented over the past 24 months with MFA.
“We want to provide a stronger authentication platform for everybody,” he said, “so to increase everybody’s security posture.”
The vendor said the Beyond Identity Passwordless Identity Platform provides a frictionless way to authenticate without one-time codes or having to pick up a second device.
Rather than send a password to a server to verify a user, their device does it. Using biometrics, it verifies workforce identities and continuously evaluates risk signals of every user and every device requesting access at the exact time of login.
“Your computer or your phone authenticates you and validates you to the whole internet,” said Shadrake.
“We’ve got around five or six partners signed in the UK. We’ve got a couple in Israel and three or four in the Nordics at the moment. Frankly, we don’t want too many. We want the key Okta, Ping and ForgeRock customer bases. So it’s been a very targeted channel to go after,” said Shadrake.
“The channel likes solutions that are simple to understand and simple to articulate the value,” he noted. “Also, products that are complementary and integrate with other solutions. Certainly, we do that on the Workforce side with the integrations with the SSO vendors.
“We’re not asking their customers to rip and replace what they’ve got,” he continued. “We adhere to existing standards so we’re not looking for customers to completely rearchitect their infrastructure. Every partner is always looking for ways to make them stickier in their accounts. And we certainly will do that for them with this technology.”
Beyond Identity received both Series A and B funding of $105 million in April and December 2020. Part of that was to build its passwordless platform, but also to invest in an EMEA team. The company now has 12 people on the ground in EMEA and an engineering support centre in Slovakia. It looks to increase its headcount to 35 in 2022, and around 60 by 2023.
“We’re being pretty aggressive as an organisation,” said Shadrake.
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