ID Control

René Jorissen on June 19, 2008 0 Comments • Tags: #handyid #idcontrol #keystrokeid #manager #password #pki #rsa #secure #securid #strongauthentication #usbtoken #vpn #whatyouare #whatyouhave #whatyouknow

Ictivity received via via an e-mail about strong authentication products from ID Control. Strong authentication is authentication were you need multiple factors (what you have, what you know, what you are) to actual authenticate to a system, network or something else. We, as Connectivity Consultant, were asked to look at the different products and start a discussion about these products. Are they interesting for us or some of our customers??

The main focus is on three different authentication products. In this post you can read MY OPINION about the three different authentication items.


HandyID is the leading mobile authentication method which provides a One Time Password (OTP) token-based, two-factor authentication solution on your mobile phone (handy), PDA, Blackberry and/or smart phone. HandyID turns your mobile device into a hardware token enabling a cost-effective, easy, convenient and user-friendly strong authentication solution for online banking, government and ecommerce. In combination with ID Control Server the set up and deployment is easy and fast.

Reading the text above I am thinking what HandyID brings extra in comparison to tokens like the ones from RSA. In my opinion I only see disadvantages. According to ID Control, you can use HandyID on every mobile device. I will not run it on my device, because the Nokia I am using isn’t that stable. I see crashing mobile phones, mobile phones with empty batteries and no charger nearby. I see incompatibilities with some tropical applications. In general, I like the concept of HandyID, but I would prefer a decent token from RSA (RSA SecurID).


KeystrokeID is the biometric solution based on behaviour traits that are acquired over a certain time period the user is typing on his or her keyboard (versus a physiological characteristic or physical trait). KeystrokeID monitors and analyses all keyboard behaviour performed by the user during his/her access. Based on this keystroke behaviour performed in comparison to the user’s normal behaviour access is granted when this user is also authorized.

Huh?? So reading this, the keyboard is learning the way you type and grants you access on that process. Sounds cool, but again I see a lot of customers having problems accessing the stuff they would like to access. I can image that KeystrokeID would work for a private secretary who finds the keys blindly on the keyboard, but what about people who cannot type that well and what when you are typing at night in bed, without decent light. I guess you won’t type the same as during normal day time. Summarizing, I would advise OUR customers to use KeystrokeID, because I THINK that the product brings more authentication problems than solving authentication problems.

USB Token

ID Control’s USB Token is a portable end-user authentication token that can replace user name and password for workstation, website, VPN, file, email, network, file and/or disk access security. ID Control USB Token plugs into any standard USB port and can even run without any software.

After reading the documentation about USB Token, I definitely imagine advising USB Token to customers and even use one for my own. The USB Tokens ease of use looks really better in comparison to smart-cards or biometrics. Nowadays USB keys are common usage and the price for USB keys won’t be that high. Another advantage of the USB Token is that you only need an enabled USB port on a workstation and that’s it. For smart-cards and biometrics, you normally need extra equipment before you can actually use the smart-cards.

The USB Token can be used for different reasons like Secure VPN Authentication, File and Disk Encryption, Web (Application) Sign-on, Secure Password Manager, Computer and Network Sign-on, Email Encryption & Signing and PKI. I would definitely use the USB Token for File and Disk Encryption and Secure Password Manager. In my line of work and our customers, I can also imagine using the USB Token for Secure VPN Authentication.

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René Jorissen

Co-owner and Solution Specialist at 4IP Solutions
René Jorissen works as Solution Specialist for 4IP in the Netherlands. Network Infrastructures are the primary focus. René works with equipment of multiple vendors, like Cisco, Aruba Networks, FortiNet, HP Networking, Juniper Networks, RSA SecurID, AeroHive, Microsoft and many more. René is Aruba Certified Edge Expert (ACEX #26), Aruba Certified Mobility Expert (ACMX #438), Aruba Certified ClearPass Expert (ACCX #725), Aruba Certified Design Expert (ACDX #760), CCNP R&S, FCNSP and Certified Ethical Hacker (CEF) certified. You can follow René on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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