Tokenless authentication provider Swivel Secure today announced the launch of its university licensing scheme, which enables universities in both the UK and North America to secure their network infrastructures at a fraction of the typical costs, regardless of whether their data is stored in the cloud or on a virtual private network.
Under the terms of the scheme, Swivel Secure channel partners are able to offer free licences for Swivel’s tokenless authentication platform to a university’s student population, when full licences are purchased for staff members. The scheme enables budget conscious universities to add an additional level of security to their network infrastructure without the need for extensive additional investment.
In both markets, data and network security is a growing concern amongst university IT administrators. Compliance with strict data protection regulations, together with increasing demands from students to access the campus network from a range of different devices and applications, is creating a complex environment that is putting pressure on existing access controls. Additionally, many campuses are also looking to realise the cost savings offered by migrating to a cloud-based infrastructure, which raises fresh concerns about authenticating off-premise users of the campus network.
“Cloud is already an attractive cost saving option for universities and Microsoft’s recent offer of free university licences for Office 365 will undoubtedly encourage more campuses to adopt the model,” comments Chris Russell, VP Engineering at Swivel Secure. “But universities should tread carefully. The ubiquitous reuse of username and password combinations is a real threat to cloud security. Often, all a hacker needs to do is to obtain and reuse a student’s login details for, say, Facebook, in order to gain unauthorised access to the campus network.
“Universities need to be implementing an authentication solution that requires an additional piece of information so if a user’s password is compromised the network remains protected. Our new licensing scheme enables universities to secure their VPN or cloud-based infrastructures in this manner using the only tokenless authentication platform approved for the Microsoft Office 365 environment. Providing free licences to all students should put the technology within reach of most, if not all universities, even those working hard to contain additional costs.”
The Swivel authentication platform was first launched in 2003. It is now used by local government, the NHS, major global enterprises and hundreds of smaller businesses, in over 35 countries, to remotely access their business networks, virtual desktops and cloud-based applications. Offering the widest range of user deployment options according to Gartner, the Swivel authentication platform offers the choice of mobile apps, SMS and interactive voice response channels when full two-factor authentication is mandatory.