EMC Acquires 'Enhanced' Security Vendor Verid

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2007-06-04 Email Print this article Print

The company's latest acquisition aims to supplement its RSA identity protection portfolio by adding deeper knowledge-based authentication.

Officials at data storage giant EMC have claimed that the company is not planning to acquire any more companies and instead wants to focus on building its existing storage- and security-related businesses.

Nonetheless, the company, based in Hopkinton, Mass., announced June 4 that it has bought its second company of 2007—and 33rd since 2001—in Verid, a small, privately held information security technology vendor in Sunrise, Fla., that makes knowledge-based authentication software.

Verid's software is used by about 130 large consumer-facing financial institutions, telecom providers and retailers, an EMC spokesperson said.

The company's software, which offers enhanced security that utilizes personal questions for online banking and retail users, will be folded into the RSA Security side of EMC.

Verid's level of security goes beyond a password and username. For example, it keeps track of secondary questions only an authenticated user would know, such as "What high school did you attend?" or "What was the make of your first car?", said George Tubin, an analyst with the TowerGroup.

"RSA and others already do a good job with this enhanced security," Tubin told eWEEK. "But the problem really comes when you get a new customer. How do you know that a new person signing up is legitimate? That's where a company like Verid does a good job. What they do is they have links back into the credit bureaus and other information providers, so they use knowledge-based authentication."

The acquisition is complete, according to EMC, which would not release further details of the deal, including the price.

CEO Kevin Watson will continue to run the firm as a separate product line within RSA, at least until the end of 2007, the EMC spokesperson said. Watson will report directly to Christopher Young, vice president of consumer and access solutions at RSA.

EMC is starting to see the fruits of its many acquisitions. Click here to read more.

The RSA Adaptive Authentication suite will now cover continuous security, starting with the initial user identity verification and maintaining perpetual vigilance throughout the life cycle of the relationship, across the various channels of user interaction, Young said.

"RSA currently has more than 100 million online financial services user accounts under contract across the globe," Young said. "The acquisition of Verid both builds upon our existing set of authentication methods and significantly extends our capabilities into the preliminary vetting and verification stages of new user relationships in a variety of markets."

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