Two-factor showdown at RSA Welcome Reception

Free stuff.  Isn’t that what conferences are about?  There was no shortage of swag at this evening’s RSA Conference 2009Welcome Reception, but nothing really jumped out as the uber-cool itemof 2009.  Although there were no serious attempts to beat thecompetition via swag, there was plenty of one-upmanship when it came totechnology.

I had a chance to talk two vendors offering phone based two-factorauthentication.  Authentify offers a solution which usesvoice/behaviour biometrics, while Phone Factor is PIN based.  It seemsto me that the use of biometrics gives Authentify a technologicaladvantage, which is what they argue.  Shortly after, I raised thispoint with someone from Phone Factor, who proceeded to offer a solidlist of acceptable reasons why would you by Phone Factor anyways.

For each member of the competition, a vendor must always have anargument that sets themselves apart.  This one-upmanship is what makesthe RSA Conference Exhibition Hall so tiring: once you complete a firstpass of all the vendors, you are forced to take a second pass in orderto get clarification by asking deeper questions.  I made a good starttonight, but my second pass is a must for tomorrow.

Here’s to hoping I won’t need a third pass.  My feet hurt enough already.

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