RSA boosts BlackBerry two-factor authentication

RSA and Research in Motion (RIM) announced new two-factor authentication developments for BlackBerry smartphones, just after the PDA maker announced its new 3G 'Bold' model.

RSA said that the SecurID Token for BlackBerry provided direct access to Blackberry Mobile Virtual Private Network (VPN), new provisioning options and tighter integration with BlackBerry Enterprise Server. It would be available in the late second quarter of this year.

It was the latest development coming out of a four-year technical relationship between RSA and RIM. The new advancements would allow BlackBerry smartphones to be more easily activated and deployed for use as RSA SecurID two-factor authenticators

RSA, EMC's security division, said these new developments enabled users to leverage wireless corporate networks for secure no-cost access to business applications.

The security division also said that its authentication solutions were engineered to assure identities and lessen risk according to how valuable or critical the data, application or transaction was.

"As BlackBerry smartphones have become standard business devices, our joint customers are able to leverage integrated two-factor authentication technology to streamline IT operations," said Sam Curry, vice president of Product Management and Product Marketing, Identity and Access Assurance Group at RSA.

He added: "By providing a more convenient and cost-effective strong authentication mechanism, we can help our customers gain the most value from their BlackBerry smartphone deployments by enabling more seamless and secure access to sensitive assets."

One of the new features was direct access to BlackBerry Mobile VPN, which would allow a user with a BlackBerry smartphone enabled with Wi-Fi to securely connect in-office to business wireless network access points.

Once connected the user could leverage their business wireless connection for email and application access, without accumulating charges on their data plans - which would get charged back to the company.