I recently read an article that pegged the global growth rate for multifactor authentication at 17 percent. This is a substantial compound annual growth rate (CAGR) when you take into consideration the size of the market and the nascent growth of some key players. Then I considered Entrust’s relative position in the market and in comparison to our competitors. A few, including the behemoth of RSA, have single-digit growth; while in the same period we enjoyed an 18 percent increase in total revenue, 30 percent growth in our authentication product and 44 percent growth in our SaaS/Subscription revenue.

When you dive deeper into the 17 percent projected growth from that article, you realize this is still weighted by tokens, particularly hardware tokens. So, if the major token providers are growing at single-digit rates — or even falling in some cases — what is driving this growth? We all know mobile and cloud are hot topics — and I will explore those more in a later post — but for now let’s look at how market forces are changing the methods of authentication.

Mobile soft tokens are outpacing hard tokens. And even for organizations that purchase hard tokens, they are already drawing up migration paths to mobile. Add in the ability to provide identity services from a cloud platform and you have an additional way these forces are changing the traditional authentication landscape. These also allow organizations more flexible deployments and greater adaptability to changes in the landscape.

This is indicative of the need for organic growth and innovation. It seems the most common way to innovate is for a large company to buy the innovation, whether by acquiring a startup or an established player in one very focused area. Instead, we focus on how we can build platforms that help customers meet current and future needs instead of building point solutions. But, again, that’s a topic I will explore more in a future post.

In addition, Entrust has long held that our identity-based, threat-centric approach helps organizations meet current and future security and business needs. This is crucial, as digital identities are growing in number and diversity and the threats to those identities are evolving and increasing in number and maliciousness. These threats focus on compromising or stealing digital identities. These two worlds then collide, bringing identity-based, threat-centric strategy into play.

We are focusing heavily on mobile devices and innovative ways of securing and leveraging these devices. This gives organizations a way of taking business-critical transactions and tasks out-of-band and off the potentially compromised desktop channel. In addition, it provides a way for organizations to meet a wide variety of use cases and the ability to expand to address new challenges as they arise.

So what is driving growth in the authentication market? Innovative products that help future-proof business’ security infrastructure, decrease the complexities of doing business or IS/IT ecosystems, proactively protect digital identities — whether mobile, cloud, devices, people or applications — from the evolving threats and running and customer-centric business.

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