Multifactor authentication: Gemalto
December 01, 2009
When I asked the visionary at Gemalto what made them innovators - a question I always ask even though I have an answer in mind - he answered, What is the most pervasive object that carries individual user information? The answer, of course, is the SIM chip. There is one on every (almost) mobile phone and it carries the unique identifying information for that phone and its user. Gemalto intends to be equally as pervasive with its Smart Guardian multifactor authentication product.
Vision is the name of the game at Gemalto, followed closely by the level of research and development that turns vision into innovation. Gemalto's vision is moving from application-centric authentication to identity-centric authentication. The company started realizing its vision over 10 years ago and have been pushing the envelope in multifactor authentication ever since.
What else makes Gemalto an innovator? In their own words again, "Many innovators come up with good ideas, but what we do is take cryptographic smart cards and move them to new markets. We try to be relevant without being disruptive." They certainly have the ability to do that with the infrastructure of a large company and the concomitant large research and development organization.
Gemalto offers a complete end-to-end security identity product suite. For example, the company has a managed service for smaller customers, as well as in-house deployments for larger organizations. Its strategy is to add technology to existing methods of multifactor authentication.
Not to put all of the emphasis on the technology, though, we should point out the Gemalto business model. Besides operating at both the product and service sales levels, Gemalto actively seeks to maintain a high-volume market. This keeps prices down and allows the company to move toward its goal of pervasive penetration of the multifactor market. To achieve this requires strong customer interaction and the company has accomplished that by addressing the world's largest companies.
In a crowded marketplace, Gemalto has carved out a niche that addresses high volume cryptographic multifactor authentication. It has done that creatively with solid R&D support and by using a marketing and pricing model that keeps pricing low while allowing advanced technology development.
AT A GLANCE
Flagship product: Protiva Smart Guardian
Innovation: Solid mix of technology and go-to-market strategies
Greatest strength: Vision and the resources to act on it