Feature Article

February 20, 2013

Duo Security Offering High Mobile Security Previously Associated with Hardware Smartcards

Mobile security is an issue that must be addressed in order to take advantage of the full potential this platform will introduce to the market place. As the number of users increase daily, their trepidation in using mobile devices freely must be alleviated with security solutions that will guarantee a degree of protection at all times. The announcement of Duo Security making high level security reserved for hardware smartcards available for consumer mobile devices comes at an opportune time. While enterprise class users have expensive security measures in place, they were often out of reach for the average user. This solution makes it affordable for anyone who makes a monthly payment on their mobile device.

The security measure uses the Duo two-factor authentication service (2FA). It does this by leveraging the hardware security model (HSM) that is part of the latest mobile devices. By taking advantage of the hardware that is currently present in newer Android devices, 2FA can implement the same security technology being used for virtual wallet apps. The two-factor authentication application used in its enterprise solution is applied as a secure, tamper-proof credential that cannot be cloned or copied without the right authentication. As long as the device in question supports HSM, it is possible to put in place this layer of security.

The solution to this problem was discovered when the company was conducting the X-Ray research project, which let users scan for unpatched security liabilities. The company observed that more than 50 percent of Android devices in the world were susceptible to privilege escalation exploits. The Duo technology is able to provide a platform that is trusted for authentication even if the device is fully compromised and faces privilege escalation exploits. Since the information the user safeguards is in the tamperproof HSM, it cannot be stolen or cloned by an attack.

 “By leveraging the unique hardware security capabilities of modern Android devices, our Duo Push technology is not only the most user-friendly two-factor authentication in the market, but also the most secure. Duo continues to lead and innovate in mobile security to ensure consumer mobile devices can act as trusted authenticators in the modern enterprise,” said Dug Song, CEO of Duo Security.

The service is available as a personal, business and enterprise solution with different pricing structures and support services. The personal service is free with a limit of 1,000 telephony credits which are used for authentication with the option of purchasing additional credits anytime it runs out. While the personal service doesn’t offer support, the business and enterprise solutions provide different layers of support.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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