Perhaps the biggest surprise in our review of nine multi-factor authentication products is that physical tokens are making a comeback. Many IT managers were hoping that software-based tokens, which are easier to deploy and manage, would make hardware tokens extinct.
In our review three years ago of two-factor authentication products, the hot new approach was using smartphones as an authentication method via soft tokens, which could be a smartphone app, SMS message or telephony.
But no so fast. We found that vendors are now coming out with “smart” hardware tokens that have encryption keys or encryption engines embedded, rather than just displaying a changing series of numbers for users to type in the authentication dialog.
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