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Global Sign, VMware Team up on Mobile Authentication Solution

April 23, 2015

GMO GlobalSign announced recently that it was working with VMware on a mobile authentication solution that uses a digital certificate mechanism for authenticating mobile devices. According to GlobalSign, this mechanism does not require the use of passcodes, biometric readers or special tokens, yet provides robust security for IT environments that support BYOD and other widespread use of mobile devices to access networks.

Cambridge, Massachusetts-based GMO Global Sign is a division of Tokyo-based GMO Internet Group that has provided digital certificates since 1996. These certificates authenticate the identity of customers and businesses to perform activities like financial transactions, transfers of computer files and similar content, send secure emails, and secure logins. VMware is a Palo Alto, California-based company that offers virtualization and cloud solutions.

The end result of the solution both companies are working on will combine GlobalSign’s public key infrastructure (PKI) with VMware’s AirWatch enterprise mobility management (EMM) platform. It will simplify the process of creating digital certificates for mobile devices since it requires no user interaction to do so.

According to GlobalSign, the combined solution with VMware will give IT departments a way to implement security that still allows employees the flexibility of access to the company network from anywhere. If true, this would be a major improvement in security, which has often been a tradeoff between restrictive systems that are inconvenient to use and overly permissive systems that may be easy to use, but have security vulnerabilities that expose IT resources to great risk.

This is also an important breakthrough as far as the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) goes. Cisco’s well known prediction of over 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by the year 2020 doesn’t happen without a lot of ‘things’ or devices that can communicate without human input going online. It does not make sense to use a traditional user id/password scheme with these devices, but there needs to be some way to secure these devices to prevent breaches. Certificates accomplish both of these objectives.

The combined efforts of GlobalSign with VMware should appeal to many IT departments. It gives them security with flexibility and comes from two established companies with a strong reputation for quality and reliability. 

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

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