Novell Ships Multiple-Level Authentication

FRAMINGHAM (04/19/2000) - Novell is expected to ship its Modular Authentication Service this week.

NMAS lets network managers establish multiple levels of security into the network, through a combination of password authentication, digital certificates, tokens, smart cards or biometric devices.

Currently, Novell's login process has two phases. Users enter passwords that are encrypted by an RSA security algorithm. The user is then authenticated to a Novell Directory Services server before being granted access.

NMAS expands the authentication from a "something you know" (password) scheme to a combination of "something you know" (password), "something you are" (retinal scan or fingerprint identification), or "something you have" (token or smart card).

For instance, with NMAS, users might have to enter only a password to access their daily work on the network. To access more sensitive data, they might need to use a smart card or even a biometric device after entering their password.

In addition with NMAS, the network manager can control access to the file and directory level.

Novell is one of the first vendors to allow multiple levels of authentication.

Microsoft presently provides all the mechanisms Novell does, such as biometrics, but limits them to only single-level authentication, and cannot combine these various security mechanisms.

NMAS is managed from within Novell's ConsoleOne utility. It works with devices from RSA Security, Vasco Data Security, Identix and Saflink.

The NMAS Corporate Edition is $995 per server plus five users.

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