I'm honored to have been asked to speak on this topic at Signal Developer Conference for Communications in San Francisco. This topic is of particular interest to me since it will, in some ways, be a coming out party for some of the latest work we have done around Dell One Defender, our two-factor authentication product. We have a great history with Defender that goes back to around 2005 when we acquired the UK-based company PassGo. Before the acquisition, Defender was in market a number of years under the PassGo banner. One of the first things we did was engineer Defender to be much more tightly integrated with Active Directory. I think we were probably the first company to ship a two-factor product that was tightly integrated with Active Directory. You can manage Defender directly from the Active Directory User & Computers interface and also leverage Group Policy for deployment of tokens. With built-in integrations for firewalls, VPNs, and hardware and software-based tokens that never expire this product has been very popular. At the time, the strong integration with Active Directory was exactly the right move as Active Directory was becoming more and more a de-facto standard within enterprises.
Over the last few years we've heard from our increasing customer base that they wanted another deployment option for Defender: the cloud. I think this demand has been driven by more and more contractors, partners and customers needing access to corporate resources within an enterprise coupled with a desire to not expose Active Directory to the wilds of a DMZ or the internet for security reasons. Plus, security has become an even bigger concern for all companies over the last few years. No one wants to be on the front page of their local newspaper or the latest victim of a hack. Disclosures, regulations, damages both real and to reputation are only increasing so we see nearly every company thinking about multiple layers of security and not just solely relying on the firewall anymore. High and thick walls are great but having a moat, a drawbridge and armed soldiers - and more - is a requirement in today's world.
At the Signal conference I'll be talking about our new Defender as a Service solution. It hasn't released yet but as soon as it does I'll be back to blog more specifically about features, functionality and costs. I'm super excited about this release and very proud of the work our development team and product managers have put into it. I've included the abstract for my session below. If you are going please be sure to attend my session. If you're not going or don't know about Signal I'd invite you to check it out. There are some great speakers like Dr. Werner Vogels, Amazon's CTO; Mike Facemire an analyst with Forrester; Justin Kan of Y Combinator and Daniel Palacio the Sr. Director of Product Authentication at Twilio to name a few. It's sure to be a great 2 days!
Here's the abstract for my session:
Current authentication methods are no longer sufficient. Most of today's security infrastructure is static, enforcing policies defined in advance in environments where IT infrastructure and business relationships are relatively static. This is no longer sufficient in an environment that is highly dynamic, multi-sourced, and virtualized, and where the cloud is increasingly used in lieu of enterprise-owned and provisioned systems. Understanding the context that a user is operating in and the resources they are accessing allows for an understanding of their risk and gives the ability to make authentication choices based on this risk. In this session, Jackson Shaw will discuss what methodologies Dell will be enabling customer's to better protect enterprise and cloud-based applications and resources.