USAA and Persistent – Not Just Another Risk Based Authentication Service!

 In Identity, Access and Security, New and Emerging

Today we announced a really exciting new partnership with USAA. You can read the press release here, and you can read a research note about it by Constellation Research here.  But I’d like to give you a little of the backstory.

“We will likely see Persistent emerge as a new and powerful player in the ever-evolving Identity Management marketplace, with innovative authentication options appearing as standard in Persistent’s wide range of original branded and OEMed e-business solutions.”

– Steve Wilson, Constellation Research

As we move our digital identities through a large ecosystem of companies, products, services, and just life in general, there is a massive increase of security risk to our money, our personal information, our thoughts, our ideas, our health, and our emotions that we don’t want people to have.  Digital Transformation is increasing the amount of services, experiences, and capabilities far faster than we could ever imagine, but one slight breach is enough to destroy the most valuable asset of all; TRUST. And once trust is gone, you can say good-bye to the brand and often, good-bye to the company.  And don’t fool yourself, it’s not a long good-bye, it happens fast!

So we have to ask ourselves, are we doing a good job at protecting our companies, our customers, and ourselves?  Answer and the evidence can be found in the seemingly daily headlines of yet another security breach. The mightiest of companies are being compromised, but how?  Don’t they have unlimited money, unlimited resources, unlimited people to protect the honey pot that allows them to exist and do business?  Some might say the answer is yes they do, and some will say they don’t, but what they don’t have is the technology or series of USAA Risk Based Authentication Blog 1technologies that will allow them protect with some sort of guarantee.

Guarantees are hard to find especially with security so we are left to look at reputation, look at history, look at others who are doing exactly what we want to do, and then do that.  We found the best who serve the best.  We look to an organization who has dedicated the last decade to protecting their people before it was a mainstream thing.  They did it before the smartphone was even in play and they did it without a single physical store, office, bank, branch, or traditional brick and mortar customer facing business. They are recognized as one of Forbes Most Admired Companies!


Mobile Banking Leader USAA Risk Based Authentication BlogForget that Javelin ranked USAA #1 in mobile digital banking user experience. Forget that the very members they protect are from the military community.  Forget that they identify themselves as a bank and insurance company.  When Persistent engaged with USAA to collaborate on next generation security around IoT, Blockchain, Password-less Authentication, Biometrics, and Customer Context Awareness, there was already a demonstration of their Risk Based Authentication service that currently protects over 13 Million members live in production today.  And this wasn’t some skunkworks project, it was a live, currently running, currently protecting, and currently in full control of making sure USAA’s members can interact with USAA without any risk and feel fully secure.

We asked them why they didn’t use any of the commercial off the shelf technology from the biggest and smallest security vendors since everybody and their grandmother has a Risk Based Authentication service, and the answer was simply, “We vetted every single one of them. None of them met our requirements, so we had to build it.”  We asked “What were your requirements?”   And they responded, “Complete, one hundred percent accuracy.”

Oracle Award USAA Risk Based Authentication Blog

We then learned that USAA wanted to share this patented technology to the broader community in order to make sure other companies can protect themselves as well, but needed a partner to develop it.  Not just any partner.  A security conscious technology and product development company who understands digital identity and digital user experiences that align with USAA’s core values.  So USAA selected us, Persistent SystemsPartner of the Year Oracle Security.

In the coming months, more details on the Risk Based Authentication service will be released but the excitement to bring these patented innovations by USAA in a partnership that provides Persistent Systems development rights to build a commercial product offering is one step closer to helping the industry and our customers the right technology to help them protect themselves using the same quality and confidence as USAA.


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