Entrust on the importance of identity


Entrust Datacard announced a new brand identity and company name, Entrust, in September.

The company said that the move continues its enduring leadership and innovation in identity, payments, and data protection, while also highlighting its position as a leader in developing the core technologies needed to keep the world moving safely.

The new brand comes after a period of growth and change for Entrust. In recent years, the company expanded from its core physical credential issuance focus, to build a robust digital security solution portfolio and market presence.

The company has made a recent series of strategic acquisitions, including PKI providers Trustis and Safelayer, authentication provider SMS Passcode, and nCipher, the market leader in hardware security modules (HSMs).

Angus McDougall, regional vice president, Asia Pacific & Japan, took time out to speak to Security Document World about the company’s new identity, ahead of the groundbreaking virtual event, Identity Week Asia 2020.

What motivated the change in identity for the company? Why make the change now?

Since we were established in1969, Entrust has contributed to an identity and payments ecosystem that enables seamless, secure interactions. Our world has changed dramatically since the acquisition. Today, we continue to help our customers and their clients confidently make payments and cross borders, log into networks, enter buildings, shop online and more. Through the years, Entrust has expanded from its core physical credential issuance focus to a robust digital security solution portfolio and market presence through in-house R&D and acquisitions. The name “Entrust” is apt for the times that we live in – and more accurately reflects the company’s current portfolio and its vision for the future. This name change effectively positions Entrust as the leader in identity, security, connectivity and trust – providing the core technologies needed to secure today’s data.

That said, the Datacard product line name has strong brand recognition, and will continue to be featured prominently as the product line name for the company’s high-volume card issuance solutions.  Entrust continue to invest and innovate to lead this market segment in high-volume hardware, software, services and supplies.

The ongoing effects of the pandemic underscore the importance of our products for our core customers – digital enterprises, financial institutions, and government agencies – and further solidify the decision to transition to the Entrust name.     In the present day, the world is more digital, more connected, and more mobile than ever before – making the concepts of identity, trust and security even more foundational and critical than before the pandemic. This name Entrust establishes the company as an ally that organisations trust now and in the future.

What emerging trends in physical and digital credentials are you developing solutions for?

Entrust is helping to enable digital transformation, delivering trusted payments, identities and data with easy to use, cloud-based solutions, whether the interaction is conducted face to face, online, or on your mobile.

As the world continues to adjust to strict new regulations around movement, social distancing and periods of quarantine, technology is rising to meet the challenge. One very basic measure making our daily interactions safer is the rapid adoption of contactless payment technologies, which is replacing our reliance on paying with cash, or physically inserting a card into a point-of-sale (POS) terminal.

We continue to introduce new solutions for personalizing, packaging and delivering debit and credit cards to consumers, including contactless cards.  As card issuers assess their portfolios, we expect more of them to turn to contactless technology.

As the threat of digital fraud and phishing scams increase, we believe that it is time for organisations to move towards a passwordless future. In order to mitigate frauds, scams, and hacks, there is a pronounced need for more robust authentication systems – such as biometrics-supported authentication methods in a PKI system.

Earlier this year, Entrust released two high-assurance features for our unified authentication management platform: Passwordless Single Sign On (SSO) Authentication to optimise workforce security and productivity by removing passwords, and Identity Proofing with fully digital identity verification for accelerated customer acquisition and onboarding.

Our Passwordless SSO Authentication solution lets employees use their smartphones as biometrics-protected virtual smart cards to log in to workstations and applications for a frictionless authentication experience. By removing password reliance, the solution reduces the risk of user credential theft and of data compromise.

Do you expect mobile credentials to include digital or visual security features, or both?

The rise of digital business has transformed the way we work – with one notable change being how we use our smartphones and mobile devices. While this has brought multitudes of convenience to employees, IT departments now have to manage an increasingly complex infrastructure.      To help ensure trusted access to the corporate network from these mobile devices, we believe that credentials leveraging both, while incorporating Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) is the key. PKI is a system that allows you to encrypt and sign data, issuing digital certificates that authenticate the identity of users.

The advantage of using a PKI-credentials based solution is that the identity of the user can be validated by a public certificate authority – a distinct advantage that enterprises, governments, hospitals, educational institutions, and banks can leverage to build trust. Users can log in, send signed and encrypted emails using their mobile smart credentials, digitally sign documents and prescriptions, and encrypt files – all without having to type a password.

Entrust provides the Mobile Smart Credential solutions across iOS and Android devices. Our solutions allow individuals to embed a trusted identity onto a mobile device – creating a smart credential that streamlines provisioning and provides seamless access to critical applications. Users can log in to their computer without using a password by unlocking their PKI-based mobile credentials using their biometrics (device-native or built into the app). The administrators can set the policy of auto logout or locking screen when the mobile device goes out of range of the computer. This security policy allows users to walk away from their computers with their mobile device without worrying, “Did I leave my computer unlocked?”

How do you expect the COVID-19 pandemic to impact on the future of digital identity?

The pandemic, along with ongoing lockdowns, has driven a huge rise in remote working. Almost overnight, employees suddenly found themselves needing secure ways to log into remote systems, away from many of the enterprise-grade protections that governed their day-to-day workflow. Others found themselves on the frontlines of their local COVID community response without any easy way of verifying who they were.

Moreover, the pandemic has also resulted in cybercriminals have had a lot of time on their hands and an ever-growing pool of victims to target. Indeed, phishing scams and stolen passwords have risen dramatically since the pandemic started – targeting individuals everywhere from the World Health Organization to Zoom.

In light of this new normal, securing digital identities will become a critical priority for organizations embarking on digital transformation. This is because identity underpins all aspects of a business.  From home deliveries where the driver never comes into contact with the person who purchased the order, to empowering your employees to work as productively from home as they could from the office, digital identity is critical to enabling the innovations that allow businesses to deliver seamless, secure digital experiences.

Entrust is proud to be at the forefront of this rising need, with our identity proofing and authentication services deployed across private organizations such as banks to public hospitals and government entities. Our identity access management (IAM) portfolio empowers organizations to meet changing business needs amidst the pandemic, while ensuring their private data and communications are protected from evolving security threats.

Can you tell us about the development behind your new Sigma printer platform? What problems does it solve, and what innovations does it include?

As the world leader and innovator in identity issuance, Entrust is continuously reimagining the ID solutions industry, by providing a secure issuance system that is specifically designed for security and simplicity.

We have seen instant issuance has been gaining popularity over the past ten years. Instant issuance can greatly enhance the customer experience for such organizations. ID solutions to meet a full range of requirements, from basic photo ID cards to high-assurance credentials that leverage smart cards and other advanced technologies.

The Entrust Sigma ID card printers represent the next generation of direct-to-card printing. With our new Sigma printer platform, we have doubled down on the seamless user experience through our intuitive printer dashboard, alongside the smart abilities to issue physical cards and digital mobile flashpasses on-premises or within the cloud. Most importantly, any connection between software and printer are encrypted to provide protection from cyber-miscreants.

Angus McDougall is the Regional Vice President, Asia Pacific for Entrust, and has overall responsibility for the region’s business across all vertical markets through both direct and indirect sales channels. 

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