Study states benefits of smart tokens over hard and soft options

News by SC Staff

Research has found that authentication costs can be halved if large companies switch to smart tokens.

Research has found that authentication costs can be halved if large companies switch to smart tokens.

A study by Encap analysed the average cost of the six most prevalent approaches to authentication for a large enterprise with 3,000 users over a three-year period. These include hardware approaches such as hardware one-time passwords (OTPs) and smart tokens (a USB or smartcard), as well as software such as smart device-based software, mobile OTP (usually an app), PC OTP (via a web-browser) and SMS OTP.

The annual total cost per user for a smart device software token is £9.65, while for a hard token it is £21.37. A mobile OTP soft token and PC OTP soft token have a cost per user of £15.41 in comparison; the cost of a smart card/USB token is 57 pence.

However the total deployment cost for a smart token is £115,655, compared with £81,150 for a soft token for mobile or a PC, while an SMS OTP costs only £52,396.

The research found that the deployment cost for hardware OTP is £129,380, while a smart device-based software token is £5,750, representing a 95 per cent decrease in cost. It also claimed that hardware OTP replacement costs are over 90 per cent more expensive than all software-based approaches.

Thomas Bostrøm Jørgensen, CEO of Encap, said: “Having invested in remote access and cloud apps, enterprises must do everything possible to simplify speedy and secure access. Smart device software authentication turns smart devices – enterprise or employee-owned – into security credentials at an unbeatable price point.

“Our study shows that the time for hardware-based authentication has passed - it is just too expensive when compared with the alternatives. Hardware approaches are incompatible with today's world of smart devices, remote access and cloud apps. It's time for a change.”


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