Replacing RSA Tokens with Biometrics

replacing RSA tokensThe idea that passwords alone can protect access to your most sensitive data is already a well-known fallacy, but companies relying on RSA tokens aren’t doing much to create strong authentication either. While two-factor authentication is a step up from passwords alone, we need to embrace security solutions that actually prove identity, not just add another rung to the ladder.

Why Do RSA Tokens Fail?

The problem with RSA tokens is a multifaceted one. First and foremost is the cost of purchasing and managing tokens. With traditional hardware tokens, you can spend anywhere from $50 to $100 USD per token, depending on how many you purchase. Not to mention server, licensing, and software costs for running the two-factor authentication system and hiring the IT personnel to manage it. And of course, that cost can nearly double to replace a lost or damaged token.

Next, there’s the actual headache of managing the system. IT teams can spend up to a quarter of their work hours managing tokens and help desk calls for end users having problems directly related to their tokens.

Finally, there’s the simple fact that an RSA token is only a minor improvement over single-factor authentication. All a token adds to the access management system is something you have. At the end of the day, modern security systems need to go beyond something you know and something you have and start proving identity by adding something you are to the authentication mix – biometrics.

FREE INFOGRAPHIC: Data Breaches of 2016

We often say that passwords are an outdated security solution developed in the 70s, and we need to modernize, but RSA tokens were a system developed in the 80s and 90s. We’re already nearly two decades into the 21st century, it’s time to catch up with the times.

The Advantages of Biometric Authentication

Considering the flaws of tokens outlined above – cost, IT management, and security – we need to look at what benefits biometrics provide as a token replacement.

Total Cost of Ownership

When deployed on the same scale as RSA tokens, biometric authentication can cost as little as half the full deployment cost year over year. Thanks to the lack of hardware requirement and the added benefit of fitting with mobile bring-your-own-device (BYOD) strategies, biometric platforms like VeridiumID require minimal initial investment to deploy.

Over time, the cost benefits will continue to add up because there’s no additional fees to onboard new employees, no lost or damaged tokens to replace, and no costly server hardware to upgrade.

Enterprise-Ready IT Management

Furthermore, the simple back-end solution is optimized for a small team to manage, providing a convenient administrative dashboard for basic tasks like adding new users, changing permissions, and general upkeep.

This, combined with the additional advantages of BYOD, means there’s less actual IT management that needs to be done to keep the system working smoothly, freeing up time and resources for the company to spend on improving other aspects of their security infrastructure.

Enhanced Security

The most important benefit is the massive step up biometrics grant to security endeavors. The ability to truly prove the end users identity with fingerprint, iris, or facial recognition means you always know beyond a shadow of a doubt who is logging into the system and what data they have access to.

Veridium provides the additional security advantage of using its unique distributed data model to more effectively secure end user’s biometric data to minimize security risks and ensure privacy, even in the event of a data breach.

Businesses need to be able to simplify their access management systems for end users and IT teams alike while using top of its class security. Mobile-focused, biometric-based multi-factor authentication provides both at a lower total cost of ownership to tokens that is unmatched in the security world. Replace cumbersome RSA tokens with a solution that both your users and IT team will love.

Learn more about how Veridium enables token replacement in any enterprise from our CPO John Spencer in the webinar “Eliminating Passwords with Biometrics for Identity Access Management.”