Gemalto: Harnessing the True Essence of MFA

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Philippe Vallee, CEO, GemaltoPhilippe Vallee, CEO No company is immune to cybercrime. As cyber attacks pose an imminent threat not just to an organization’s data, but also to the sensitive information of their customers, it could cause damage to their overall reputation. While digital interactions via cloud application and mobile devices generate massive amounts of personal data, enterprises require a real-time multi-factor authentication (MFA) for future-forward scalability. However, this real-time authentication method is technology intensive and demands data standardization, big data analytics, and sophisticated encryption processes. The bottom line—organizations have to take the bull by the horns and proactively address impending threats or disruptions to their infrastructures in real-time.

Philippe Vallee, a seasoned digital technology leader backed by 30 years of industry experience, firmly believes that agility, curiosity, and teamwork are essential to driving success in this fast-moving technological landscape. The challenge: lack of trust in emerging digital technologies. “People and organizations need to feel confident about utilizing digital security technologies,” states Vallee, the CEO of Gemalto, as he touches upon the requirement of a ‘security-first’ mindset for data security in today’s highly-connected world. As a response to meet the requirement, Vallee embarked on a journey to bring trust to the world’s digital transformation. He guides his team at Gemalto to fulfil the company’s mission to eliminate the risks of cyber attacks, identity thefts, and data breaches with next-generation MFA solutions.

Born of a merger between two leading smart card companies, Gemplus and Axalto in 2006, Gemalto leverages its rich heritage, and pioneers MFA technologies to cover the entire digital security service lifecycle. Positioned as one of the leaders in today’s digital security arena, the company assists its clients to extract the benefits of efficiency, security, and simplicity from digital technologies, enabling border control, cloud security, digital payment, smart healthcare, and more. Boasting 35 software development and research centers around the globe, Gemalto designs and delivers physical and digital identity credentials and MFA software that facilitate data encryption, device security, biometrics, cloud service protection, and IoT connectivity.

Gemalto’s MFA software solution provides organizations with a wide spectrum of reliable digital protection, and the ability to expand into the future while enhancing administrative visibility. The MFA solution helps clients to seamlessly implement cloud-based authentication methods to accommodate single sign-on (SSO) applications and credentials for mobile device management. Subsequently, the clients can maintain their existing investments in reliable digital security void of disruptions to the end-users, all at low cost and staff burden. Taking functionalities a notch higher, Gemalto’s MFA software enables clients to create and control their own token data with simplistic single-server management, eliminating the reliance on third-party vendors.

Digital Security that Enables Trusted Connections

While hackers constantly step up their game, Gemalto leads the charge to help organizations adopt Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and cloud-based applications to fend off these escalating threat vectors. The company meets various business and security needs with flexible access security solutions, which simplify authentication implementation and management through automated processes.
“Our MFA solution reduces the time and cost required for administration, provisioning, and managing end-users and tokens when compared to the traditional access security models,” Vallee adds. That is not all; the company offers a broad choice of future-ready access security methods to effectively address risks residing in one-time passwords (OTPs), hardware and software, the cloud, and certification-based authentication levels.

Our MFA solution reduces the time and cost required for administration, provisioning, and managing end-users and tokens when compared to the traditional access security models

As mobile devices become businesses’ computing platform of choice, Gemalto leverages enterprise authentication methods to provide authentic mobile workforce security, ensuring organizations and their employees have secure remote access to the devices. Remote access aside, administrators in charge of creating consistent policies for secure access using VPNs can maintain flexible, budget-friendly, and easy-to-deploy identities and access management solutions. Gemalto also extends its MFA solutions into the virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) space to help businesses overcome the vulnerabilities of fixed passwords in virtual or cloud environments. Gemalto additionally offers SafeNet Identity and Access Management solution as SaaS that allows enterprises to fortify security for end-user access, and their data on a cloud-based network.

Getting it Right

Gemalto’s SafeNet Identity and Access Management solution utilizes configurable white-box policy rules to help clients achieve granular control of authentication levels whenever end-users login to an online resource. With enhanced access security being a crucial prerequisite, Gemalto offers a flexible context-based authentication method that delivers convenient, frictionless, and reliable authentication for improved protection against high-risk situations. The context engine accurately analyzes end-users’ login attributes based on configurable parameters such as IP address, drive recognition, time, and geographical location to generate a context assurance level. This context engine combined with a “step-up” authentication method utilizes a layered approach to security access by assessing end-user login attributes and matching them with pre-defined security policies. As Vallee describes it, “The users are granted immediate access if the security policies match. If not, the users are asked to step up their security measures by providing additional authentication factors, eliminating the risk of unauthorized access.” The step-up authentication method alternatively generates a PKI token or an OTP received via SMS text message on mobile devices depending on organizational security policies.

In addition to assisting administrators in charge of creating consistent policies for secure access, Gemalto also addresses the importance of employee mobility and secure access to web-based applications from multiple end-points. From smartphones and tablets to desktops and laptops, Gemalto is transforming the workflow of IT departments and their investments in digital security. The company deploys a comprehensive authentication platform that guarantees unified security policy management, different assurance levels, and end-point access. This allows the clients to effortlessly manage and control their security technologies, and implement unified access policies and SSO for numerous web-based applications and other corporate resources.
Gemalto effectively meets the clients’ security prerequisites with its top-notch MFA Authentication as a Service (AaaS) products—SafeNet Authentication Service (SAS) and SafeNet Authentication Manager (SAM)—that enable clients to extend their users’ on-premise identities to web-based applications. “Our SaaS applications provide a full single sign-on experience that alleviates end-users to log onto a multitude of web-based applications,” Vallee says. SAS and SAM deliver fully-automated, highly secure AaaS with flexible token options customized to suit the unique requirements of an organization, and reduces overall operational costs.

Mission accomplished

The robustness and effectiveness of AaaS products were highlighted when Farrer Park Hospital in Singapore that sought cloud-based authentication solutions to be implemented on its existing infrastructure approached Gemalto. After interaction with the client, Gemalto provided an automated SAS cloud solution customized as per the client’s unique environment to uphold security and realize cost savings. The highly-secure AaaS product seamlessly automated workflows, vendor-agnostic token support, broad APIs, and out-of-the-box integrations with over 100 security solutions from leading brands to achieve unparalleled authentication. Upon the client’s request, Gemalto provided software-based OTP tokens to transmit red-flag alerts in real-time via email and reduce OPEX. The SAS cloud implementation empowered the hospital’s IT security administrators with the ability to offer access control to cloud applications, VPNs, LANs, and portals via an integrated interface and a single point of control. Gemalto’s SAS cloud allowed administrators to efficiently define and control the end-users’ authentication process, all while reaping the benefits from automated, customized reports on the status of the security ecosystem. “They chose our SafeNet Authentication Service cloud to provide secure, remote access for their users and enforce consistent yet unified security policies with high service availability,” adds Vallee.

As similar success stories reflect the company’s illustrious track record, Gemalto’s achievements do not stop there. While multiple organizations strive to purge corporate espionage and advanced persistent threats (APTs), Gemalto mitigates this insider access misuse predicament with SafeNet’s strong authentication methods that operate in both offline and connected modes. The SafeNet authentication solutions empower the clients’ IT teams with a secure local network feature via PKI of certification-based and OTP methods. This presents a broad choice of hardware and software form factors that address various risk profiles and their required assurance levels. With Gemalto’s SafeNet installed in their infrastructures, the clients procure the ability to secure a wide range of operating systems through a single point of management that defines and enforces end-user access controls for on-premise, virtualized, and cloud-based applications.

What Next?

Despite being one of the world leaders in digital security space, Gemalto continues to advance in the market with the recently-deployed Identify3D solution to protect its clients’ IP and manufacturing data. Having developed the industry’s first cloud access management and SSO solution specifically enhanced for smart card users, the company aims to expand its Cloud HSM on-demand solutions while diligently tracking the developments in MFA technology. With annual revenue of €3bn, and over 15,000 employees serving customers across 180 countries, Gemalto is part of the Thales group—a €19bn international organization. Together, Gemalto and Thales will design and deliver critical technologies for decisive moments across digital identity and security, aerospace, ground transportation, and defense sectors—to make tomorrow possible today. “We are a forward-thinking company with a positive view of digital security, and are looking forward to diversifying its business through our innovation incubation process,” concludes Vallee. Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands.
- Aaron Pierce
    May 14, 2019
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Amsterdam, NL

Philippe Vallee, CEO

A trustable provider of digital security and data protection, Gemalto protects businesses, government and individuals from data breaches and identity theft. They design and deliver a wide range of products, software and services based on two core technologies: digital identification and data protection. It enables their clients to deliver secure digital services for billions of individuals and things. Headquartered in France Gemalto’s technologies offer solutions for payment to enterprise security and the internet of things to clients from over 180 countries. Some of the solutions provided by them are used in Banking and payment, IoT, and government sector security purposes to name a few