Changing the means for authentication in an application or process is often like tearing down the house to replace the door, he argues. This is especially inadequate in an era when the concept of a network perimeter has largely faded away and cloud computing is growing.
Dunkelberger spoke at a session held at the recent Cloud Security Alliance meeting in Orlando, Fla., to explain these core concepts he expects to formally unveil early next year. He said momentum for this new authentication undertaking is building across the industry and the idea is to support a new authentication protocol designed to be turned on to support a whole variety of existing technologies.
"It's a strong authentication protocol that allows someone to turn on authentication," said Dunkelberger. Though the full description and purpose is yet to be formally unveiled, this protocol, which has a client and server component, is designed to scale across the Internet and it will be a free technology. The goal is to have security vendors, and the larger hardware and software vendors, including mobile giants such as Apple, support the protocol in their products.
"The protocol itself will be defined by working groups," Dunkelberger said, adding there are already about two dozen industry participants involved in the group that will soon be announced, and talks are ongoing with potential end users, including some in the U.S. and U.K. governments.
It is with this with this larger authentication effort in mind that Dunkelberger has launched his fifth startup to date, Nok Nok Labs, based in Palo Alto, Calif., with himself as CEO.
The startup's mission is to build software to support this yet-to-be-unveiled authentication technology. What's known is the intent: to build an authentication platform that could be used with the world's largest cloud-based Web infrastructures.
Ellen Messmer is senior editor at Network World, an IDG publication and website, where she covers news and technology trends related to information security. Twitter: @MessmerE. Email: email@example.com.
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