(Left to right) Charles Fan,CEO of Assurity Trusted Solutions, and Edward Ho, deputy principal (Development) and senior director of NYP's School of Engineering, at the Memorandum of Understanding signing ceremony on 24 October 2014.
A two-factor authentication (2FA) development and test platform will soon be set up in Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) in Singapore in an effort to address the shortage of security professionals in the republic.
The move is made possible due to an agreement between NYP and Assurity Trusted Solutions (Assurity). The latter is the National Authentication Operator for 2FA and a wholly owned subsidiary of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA).
Set to be housed at NYP's School of Engineering, the platform will be used as a testbed for Assurity's pipeline soft token as well as the 1+Factor Authentication (1+FA) concept.
Just like a hard token, a soft token generates a dynamic password that is valid for a single login or transaction. However, it does so in the form of the mobile app instead of a separate hardware, explained Chai Chin Loon, Assurity's CTO. He added that the soft token is expected to be launched in the first quarter next year.
As the name suggests, 1+FA aims to reduce the hassle of authentication. Instead of having to key in passwords twice -- the user's conventional password followed by the dynamic password -- 1FA+ will only require users to key in dynamic passwords to login securely.
Under the agreement, Assurity will also conduct joint training and development programmes for NYP students. These programmes would cover topics including audit analytics, incident response, security interoperability technologies and strong authentication for Internet services. It is hoped that these programmes will enable students to gain the security skills needed to address the real world challenges, said Edward Ho, deputy principal (Development) and senior director of NYP's School of Engineering.
According to Charles Fan, Assurity's CEO, this collaboration will ultimately help "grow Singapore's cyber security talent pool, testbed Assurity's pipeline products and concepts," as well as spur students to develop "innovative 2FA technologies" to address today's cyber threats.
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