Intel’s 2FA solution: A security bracelet

Two-factor authentication has been touted as one of the surest ways CISOs can ensure that access to sensitive servers, databases and applications can be enhanced. But what type of 2FA — message to a smart phone, fingerprint, retina, keyfob?

How about a Bluetooth-enabled bracelet, suggests Intel.

At its annual developers forum this week CEO Brian Krzanich showed off an enterprise-aimed device under development that authenticates the wearer and unlocks a specific device, such as a smart phone or computer.

According to a report on Fierce Mobile IT, the bracelet uses  the Intel Curie module, which includes a 32-bit Intel Quark microcontroller, integrated DSP sensor hub and pattern matching technology, a six-axis combo sensor with accelerometer and gyroscope, and battery charging circuitry.

The report says the bracelet uses Intel’s [Nasdaq: INTC] Identity IQ technology, found in its wearables software platform that will be available with the Curie module, as well as Intel’s True Key security technology, which is compatible with UAS-based wearables and enables authentication into its password vault and cloud services.

In a demo a developer walked up to a PC and it unlocked as she got close. But when she handed the bracelet to Krzanich he couldn’t get into it. She put the bracelet back on and reauthenticated by typing in her password.

What isn’t clear from this explanation is the backend technology a CISO will need on a corporate directory to make this happen. It also raises questions, such as whether staff will want to wear another device (watch on one wrist, the security bracelet on another?), whether it’s easier to authenticate to a device most people already have — a smart phone, and whether the technology could be included in a digital watch or other device. Is it a mass solution, or one limited to select staff?

We look forward to seeing the final version, which may appeal to CISOs in certain circumstances.

Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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