Security vendors Entrust and Trustgenix announced an alliance designed to strengthen the security of federated identity management relationships.

The two companies plan to roll out a combined product that integrates Entrust's IdentityGuard strong authentication technology with Trustgenix's IdentityBridge federated identity management software.

Strong authentication, also known as two-factor authentication, tries to improve security by bringing in a third method of user identification, in addition to the typical username and password, according to Kevin Simzer, Senior Vice President at Entrust.

Entrust's strong authentication technology requires a user to enter grid coordinates listed on the back of a card that's carried on the person.

As identities are federated more often across organizational boundaries, having reliable means of authentication becomes more critical.

"With strong authentication we have greater confidence that the user is who they say they are," Simzer said.

Uniting strong authentication and federated identity management can also help thwart the growing number of identity theft and phishing attacks, Simzer added.

"With this combination of technologies we've brought those two hot things together under one product offering that we can make available to joint customers," he said.

The vendors' joint customers will benefit from single sign-on to authorized partner sites, according to Atul Tulshibagwale, CEO of Trustgenix.

The product integration will help spur the adoption of federated identity for higher-risk applications and industries such as financial services and government, according to the companies.