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SecurEnvoy and PasswordBank join forces on single sign-on for cloud services

The two companies use mobile phones for two-factor authentication

SecurEnvoy and PasswordBank have joined forces to allow users to access multiple cloud services at the same time using their mobile phones.

Enterprise users can access cloud services such as Google Apps, Office365 and Salesforce.com through PasswordBank's single sign-on platform, using SecurEnvoy's mobile phone-based two-factor authentication.

Two-factor authentication is a safer way of verifying a person is who they say they are. It combines something users know -- for example a user name, password or PIN code -- with something they have, which can include a card, a fingerprint, a hardware token, or in this case a mobile phone. The latter two are used to create one-time passwords, which add an extra layer of security compared to authenticating users with just passwords.

Enterprises can either choose to install an application on employees' smartphones, as well as other types of devices, that creates the one-time passwords or use text messages to distribute them, according to Steve Watts, co-founder and sales director at SecurEnvoy.

SecurEnvoy also allows users to change the device they use to create or receive the one-time password. But only one device can be used at a time, Watts said.

The popularity of using an application versus text messages to distribute the one-time passwords differs greatly in different parts of the world. In Europe, the split is about 60-40 favoring SMS, while the application route is favored by a large majority of U.S. users, Watts said. In many other parts of the world, including South America, India and Africa, SMS dominates, he said.

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