Security Experts:

RSA Splits Authentication Credentials Across Multiple Servers For Added Protection

At RSA Conference Europe 2012 in London, RSA, The Security Division of EMC, on Tuesday introduced “Distributed Credential Protection,” new authentication technology designed to protect passwords and other credentials stored in databases from cyber attacks.

RSA Distributed Credential Protection (DCP) allows customers to split authentication credentials between two points, providing a bump in protection to an often-targeted access point.

DCP is pitched as a developer solution that eliminates single points of compromise, by splitting secrets and authentication decisions across two servers. The point is that if one server is breached, the attacker only gets one half of the data and that on its own is useless.

“Secrets can also be re-randomized at the push of a button so that any potential later intrusion into one of the credential servers would similarly yield useless information. As a result, attackers face the daunting task of having to compromise two separate servers or data centers nearly simultaneously, without detection, in order to gain valuable information,” RSA said in a statement.

Servers are not the only split points however, as DCP can be configured to split secrets between servers, data centers (managed by different providers) or the organization’s physical environment and the cloud.

"This technology offers a unique way to truly protect bulk data stores of passwords, secrets and other credentials from even highly sophisticated attacks,” said Dan Schiappa, Senior Vice President of Identity and Data Protection, RSA. 

“Recent, high profile breaches have highlighted the inadequacies of some implementations of credential protection techniques such as hashing and salting. Given the threats posed by attackers seeking to compromise large sources of access credentials and other high-value information, organizations must take these risks seriously and, in some cases, consider new approaches, such as that introduced by RSA,” said Scott Crawford, Managing Research Director at Enterprise Management Associates.

RSA Distributed Credential Protection is scheduled to be Available in Q4 2012.

Attendees at RSA’s TechFest in Boston later this month can learn more, during a scheduled talk on DCP, and RSA is showcasing the technology this week at RSA Conference Europe 2012 in London.

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Steve Ragan is a security reporter and contributor for SecurityWeek. Prior to joining the journalism world in 2005, he spent 15 years as a freelance IT contractor focused on endpoint security and security training.