Executive Sessions , Multi-factor & Risk-based Authentication , Next-Generation Technologies & Secure Development

VASCO CEO on Authentication Trends

Ken Hunt Discusses Impact of Hacking Attacks
VASCO CEO on Authentication Trends
Ken Hunt

The increase in sophisticated hacking attacks will lead other sectors to follow the lead of the financial services industry in implementing multifactor authentication, says Ken Hunt, CEO of VASCO Data Security International.

"What we have seen is a dramatic increase in the amount of hacking attacks, the sophistication of those attacks and the awareness of the [public] about hacking and ... what two-factor authentication is," Hunt says in an exclusive Executive Sessions interview with Information Security Media Group.

Hunt contends, for example, that the healthcare sector needs to implement stronger authentication for patients accessing their records via Web portals and for clinicians to have remote access to data.

While 80 percent of VASCO's authentication business is in the financial services sector - with more than 2,000 banks as customers - healthcare, government and even gaming are growing industries for the company, says Hunt, a technology veteran who founded VASCO.

Chip and PIN

Although the financial services sector has for years used multifactor authentication for online banking, Europe is way ahead of the U.S. when it comes to using PINs to authenticate transactions completed with EMV chip payment cards.

Many major U.S. banks are beginning to roll out EMV cards, he notes, but they're stopping short of requiring the four-digit PIN to complete the transaction, relying on signatures instead, to keep things simple for consumers. "It's slow going, but I have faith my American associates will see the light and do the right thing," eventually moving to a more secure chip-and-PIN strategy, he adds.

In the interview, Hunt also discusses:

  • Why insider attacks are prevalent and how the cyberthreat landscape is changing;
  • Examples of how multifactor authentication is being implemented in healthcare;
  • How his previous experience playing college football at the University of Miami plays into his leadership philosophy.

T. Kendall "Ken" Hunt is founder, chairman of the board and CEO of VASCO Data Security. He has served as VASCO's chairman since its incorporation in 1997, was the company's CEO from 1997 through 1999 and returned to the role of CEO in November 2002. Hunt is also affiliated with several high-tech early-stage companies, served as a member of the board of directors of Global Med Technologies and has also been a member of the advisory board of Victory Park Capital Advisors LLC. He is chairman of the Midwest Council of TechAmerica, formerly The AeA, and former president of the Belgian Business Club of Chicago, and a member of The Economic Club of Chicago.

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