Ping Identity rolls mobile one-swipe authentication; takes aim at RSA tokens

PingID for Apple iOS or Google Android mobile devices is an app that works to generate one-time passwords on a smartphone

Identity and access management vendor Ping Identity today unveiled software-based multi-factor authentication that lets users to sign onto an enterprise service or system with a swipe of their smartphone.

PingID for Apple iOS or Google Android mobile devices is an app that works to generate one-time passwords on a smartphone which lets users access applications and services, says Jeff Nolan, senior director of marketing at Ping Identity. This one-time password capability can be used as the primary or the secondary form of security authentication.

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Nolan notes many companies would like to get rid of re-usable passwords altogether since they are viewed as a higher security risk than one-time passwords. He views Ping's multi-factor authentication for mobile as competing with EMC's RSA tokens.

Ping Identity is part of the broader Identity and Access Management (IAM) market that includes competitors such as CA Technologies, OneLogIn, Identropy, Okta, Symantec and several more. Late last week it became evident that one IAM vendor, Symplified, which debuted in 2008 with a cloud-based SSO service, was foundering. Word had gotten out that EMC's RSA has acquired some of its technical assets, though not its existing business operations, for an undisclosed price, leaving Symplified to deal directly with its customers.

The Symplified website, which lists Merit Medical, Biogen, CSC, New York's Museum of Modern Art, Moody's and several other companies as customers, offered no indication of tumultuous change, but efforts to reach the company directly by phone were unsuccessful, with the line for its sales division completely dead and calls to the human resources dept. unreturned. The public relations firm listed on the Symplified website said they no longer represent Symplified and provided no further information.

Ping Identity is seeking to woo Symplified customers with a marketing campaign called the "Symplified Rescue Kit" that offers some discounting, said Ping Identity's Nolan.

Despite Symplified's troubles, the IAM market continues to attract investor interest. Vendors Centrify, Okta and ForgeRock, for example, received a cumulative $150 million among them in the last two months.