Multifactor authentication:TriCipher
Multifactor authentication:TriCipher

What sets these guys apart from the multifactor herd? In a word, vision. From the start, TriCipher has had the vision of evolving into a full identity management provider. That is a pretty heady ambition for a developer of multifactor authentication tools. So how does this innovator plan to make the trip from providing a piece of the puzzle to offering the whole thing, already assembled, framed and hung on the wall?

That's not an easy question to answer because it's not an easy task to perform successfully. There are several layers to the ultimate solution. The first is the recognition that the company believes that identity-oriented computing and claim-based access to software is where we believe it should be.

That means starting with federated identity management.

SaaS offers that promise in a turnkey manner between multiple providers. This allows TriCipher to focus on single sign-on using strong authentication. To exploit this market segment, the company has designed its products for ser­vice providers. This means that the ideas of SaaS, application service providers and cloud computing lie in the TriCipher sweet spot, and since its inception in 2000, that is where the company has focused.

Understanding this message means understanding cloud computing. ebizQ says of cloud computing: “Cloud computing enables users and developers to utilize services without knowledge of, expertise with, or control over the technology infrastructure that supports them.” And that is exactly where TriCipher is headed. “The way we are computing today is going to change,” my interview subject told me. “The next generation of SaaS is cloud computing.” A federated solution to multifactor authentication takes them in that direction if evolution to a full identity management system is the goal.

What's next for this innovator? Because of federation, “The paradigm of identity becomes more important as we get into clouds,” my contact told me. The logical next step, then, is evolving into a provider of identity management services. That will put TriCipher in a bit of a different league, but that is exactly what they want. It should be a very interesting transition to watch, especially since the company already is well on its way.