GrIDsure partners told trade sale imminent

Resellers told trade buyer of fallen 2FA vendor will be in touch with them by Monday

By Doug Woodburn

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10 Nov 2011


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GrIDsure partners have been told a sale of the stricken two-factor authentication (2FA) vendor's intellectual property will be completed by Monday.

The Huntingdon-based firm ran aground last week after its investor pulled the plug. Its liquidation is being overseen by corporate recovery firm Cork Gully.

However, resellers have been told that several interested parties are competing to pick up GrIDsure's pattern-based 2FA technology. A sale could be completed as soon as tomorrow, or Monday by the latest.

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James McKee, security manager at reseller Qual, said his firm had been selling GrIDsure for eight months.

McKee said the lack of information about GrIDsure's sale had been frustrating for both Qual and its small handful of GrIDsure customers.

"They should have kept us in the loop as they went along, so we could relay the information to our customers and prospects. At the moment, there's nothing we can really say to customers and you couldn't blame them if they started looking at alternatives.

"We have been told that by the end of tomorrow or Monday we should be contacted by the new owners – I really hope this happens."

Paul Beaumont, chief executive of Salford Software, said the VAR had completed one GrIDsure deal with Preston College.

"We understand there is a trade buyer and that's all we know," he said. "It's a good product, but the whole thing could have been dealt with a lot better. Hopefully, it will be sorted out once the sale has been completed."

McKee argued that GrIDsure's intellectual property would have attracted substantial interest.

"It is simple to install and cost effective," he said. "And the idea of just remembering a pattern, rather than a sequence of numbers, or carrying around a physical token, appeals to me."

Vigil Software, which GrIDsure appointed as its sole distributor in the summer, emailed resellers today to say it expected an announcement to be made in the next 48 hours.

"Our key priority is to assist all impacted customers and resellers and we will attempt to answer any incoming support or other enquiries to the best of our ability, pending further information," the email read.

"Assuming the IP is successfully sold we will be immediately in contact with the buyer to discuss arrangements for customers and we will communicate all relevant information to our resellers and customers.

"Vigil has seen a significant interest in the GrIDsure solution since we brought it to market several months ago, we sincerely hope that a buyer with a solid market understanding and financial strength will want to continue to invest in the technology, customers and resellers and we will 100 per cent support an incoming buyer that is willing to take on these obligations including providing technical support.

"We would like to apologise to all affected resellers and customers for this sudden and unexpected change in circumstances with GrIDsure and for any impact this has on your organisation."

Richard H Harris, who left rival 2FA vendor Swivel in the summer to start up his own 2FA venture, Ensygnia, said he was not surprised to hear of GrIDsure's demise.

"Although the pattern-based concept was sound, relying on the user to do something was the weak link in the chain," he said. "The new company I have, which is in stealth mode, makes some of these problems academic."

A representative for Cork Gully declined to comment other than confirming the corporate recovery firm's appointment as liquidator was ratified at a creditors' meeting on Tuesday. Creditors have been told to expect little or no money.

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