RSA buys PassMark for $44 million

RSA Security said on Monday that it acquired PassMark Security, a maker of lightweight authentication technology.

RSA paid US$44.7 million in cash and stock for PassMark and plans to add the company's technology to expand a growing portfolio of consumer authentication technology, including products and services acquired with Cyota in December last year.

PassMark makes Web authentication technology that allows Web sites to use multiple "factors," such as user names, passwords, and challenge questions to verify log-ins. The company also has technology for displaying unique images, or "PassMarks," that help defeat phishing attacks on Web sites.

Bank of America uses a version of PassMark's technology to secure sessions at its online banking Web site. Smaller banks, credit unions, and banking service providers also use the technology.

In a statement, RSA said that the acquisition will help the company become a "strategic hub" for the financial marketplace. RSA will have authentication products for customers, merchants, and online transactions.

RSA inherits PassMark's portfolio of authentication technology, including image- and voice based authentication, which the company plans to add to its RSA Adaptive Authentication product line.

PassMark's customers will also be able to contribute to eFraudNetwork, a cross-bank antifraud network, RSA said.