Star boosts cloud security with smartphones

Star has launched a new security service that will complement existing password-based approaches

Maxwell Cooter
27 Oct 2011

Star has introduced a new security service as it looks to convince SMBs the cloud is safe for their business.

The cloud company's ActiveEdge Authentication offers businesses an extra layer of security for accessing hosted services, complementing the existing username/password combination with passcodes sent to smartphones.

Phill Harber, proposition marketing manager at Star, said that the company introduced ActiveEdge Authentication in response to its customers who had expressed an interest in getting into the cloud but were concerned about security.

The appeal of this service is that it takes the responsibility away from the user

“There have also been several security breaches lately,” he added. “The appeal of this service is that it takes the responsibility away from the user. That user may well be using the same password for their Facebook account as for the office – which is a big security risk, This adds that extra level.”

ActiveEdge Authentication is similar to PIN systems used by financial institutions, but keeps costs lower by sending passcodes to smartphones or via SMS, rather than to a dedicated devices. “However, companies could have the key-fob approach if they wanted,” said Harber.

He added that, in effect, the service introduced an additional two layers of security. “I need a PIN to access my smartphone and then I need a PIN to access my unique code,” he said.

Harber said that the main appeal of the service was simplicity. “ActiveEdge Authentication is the simplest way for businesses to get started and use advanced security measures because we take care of the technical details. As more consumer devices find their way in to the workplace we can help to keep corporate data secure, no matter when or where it is accessed and used.”

The new service is charged on a monthly subscription, enabling the business owner manage costs more easily, as well as making it possible to scale up and down according to the number of users supported.

The cost of the service is £2 per user per month, with smartphone and basic key-fobs free but with a small charge for more elaborate fobs.

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