Cloud security firm Akamai plans to acquire Janrain, an identity management software provider, as it aims to better protect customers' data with a single digital identity across channels.
Authentication on the Internet is "badly broken," John Summers, vice president and CTO at Akamai, explained in a blog post on the news. Every website and mobile app requires consumers to create new accounts, many of which share usernames and passwords. A 2017 Pew Research report found 39% of all users use the same, or similar, passwords across accounts. Making matters worse, ongoing data breaches expose them.
"From a website owner's perspective, this leads to a huge digital trust problem," Summers continued. "Just because someone or something presents the correct credentials, how can the business trust that it is truly the account owner that is attempting to log in?"
Janrain offers Customer Identity and Access Management (CIAM) as a service for mission-critical enterprise Web applications, Summers wrote. It brings identity awareness to online transactions with social and traditional registration, login, authentication, single sign-on, and profile data storage, he added.
Akamai already offers tools to secure customer websites, apps, and APIs from DDoS, bots, application vulnerabilities, and other threats, according to Summers. It plans to use Janrain's technology to make its own security and performance offerings more "identity aware," which he explained is critical to enforcing strong access controls while maintaining a positive user experience.
Following the acquisition, Janrain Identity Cloud will be combined with the Akamai Intelligent Platform, according to Summers. Janrain's identity services will also be combined with the Akamai Bot Manager, which detects bots as they attempt to log in with stolen credentials.
With Janrain's tech, Akamai will be able to understand login history and access patterns (geography, time of day, etc.) to distinguish legitimate users from bots, Summers explained. Akamai will also be able to offer more nuanced responses to attackers without interfering with user experience. Akamai plans to offer a single digital identity to consolidate user context across channels, social media, and offline sources.
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