Good Vault launches two-factor authentication for iPhones

iPhones would use sleeves to read smart cards and microSD cards

Good Technology announced Good Vault, a system for adding two-factor authentication to the iPhone 4 and 4S for access to Good for Enterprise email.

One of the Good Vault options features a smart-card reader that can be attached to an iPhone. In order to gain access to Good email, a user must slide a smart card in the sleeve and then type in a PIN. (Photo by Good Technology)

The system will be especially valuable for government agencies and companies in highly regulated industries, such as healthcare and financial services, where it's critical to ensure that data is protected from unauthorized users if an employee's smartphone is lost or stolen, said Good Technology CTO Nicko van Someren.

With the Vault system, one of two sleeves is attached to the iPhone: One that can read a smart card or one that can read a microSD card, he said. Once either of the sleeves is in place, inserting the microSD or smart card becomes one component of the two-factor identification process, while typing in a PIN is the second. Once authenticated, users would have access to Good for Enterprise email.

If a phone is lost or stolen while the microSD or smart card is inserted in the sleeve, the PIN would still be needed for access to Good for Enterprise email. Good's management software supports remote wipes of data from smartphones.

Good hopes to expand its Vault technology to support other applications besides email. The company also aims to offer Vault systems for iPads and Android devices, van Someren said.

The Good Vault iPhone application will be available for download in Apple's App Store (pricing has not been announced), but end users cannot use it unless they are licensed for Good for Enterprise and Good Vault.

Precise Biometrics developed Vault's smart-card reader, a sleeve for the iPhone that weighs just 1.5 oz. The microSD reader was developed by HID Identity Assurance. A user's identity credentials and encryption keys would be embedded in the Secure Element chip in the smart card or microSD.

While smart-card readers and microSD readers are already on the market, they are generally stand-alone offerings and are considered cumbersome to use, Good officials said.

Good Vault is the first offering in Good's new line of Good Trust security products for identity and access management.

Good has more than 4,000 enterprise customers; Gartner and other analyst firms consider it to be one of the leading vendors of mobile device management systems.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen, or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His email address is

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Tags AppleMobile/WirelessMobile device managementNetworkingsecuritymobile securitywirelessGood Technologymobile

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