For a long time, standard username and password as credentials was considered a reasonably secure way to limit the access to the content. A simple password is prone to brute force attack. A strong password is not safe either as it can be stolen using phishing.
According to the Verizon Data Breach Report 2022, the top five contributors to breaches include use of stolen credentials, ransomware, and phishing. A solution to this situation is having Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) for your accounts. MFA adds another layer of security beyond the traditional username/password. Implementing MFA or 2-factor authentication makes it more difficult to access the assets even if passwords or PINs are compromised through phishing attacks or other means.
Stronger authentication requires malicious actors to have better capabilities and expend greater resources to successfully weaken the authentication process.
Key Factors that drive Multi-Factor Authentication are:
- Usability / Productivity: Traditional credentials like username / password are obsolete. It can be challenging to remember the so-called strong passwords, although Password / Credentials Managers come to the rescue.
- Security: Traditional credentials are wide open to phishing attacks. Multi-factor authentication adds an extra layer of protection to an organization’s assets while making it easier to adopt for the end users.
- Compliance: Regulation mandates exist in virtually every industry to prevent unauthorized access to systems and data. Today, most of these industries have regulations that require multi-factor authentication when accessing regulated data remotely.
Challenges to deploying Multi-Factor Authentication
Although having MFA increases the security in terms of access control, in this day of multi-cloud / hybrid cloud adoption, organizations must deal with managing multiple domains and authentication methods. Deployment concerns make the organizations think twice if they want to go for MFA in their environment.
Multiple and Disjointed Authentication Systems:
In the fast-paced movement of organizations embracing the cloud, organizations tend to have multiple authentication systems for each of their business units / departments, remote access or be it high-risk or low-risk asset, or on-prem or cloud application. There are too many strong authentication silos in an organization. This approach leaves organizations with multiple authentication silos (building access, remote access, compliance requirements, etc.). These disjointed implementations impose higher administrative overhead and inefficient processes. Integrating all these authentication systems and methods for an organization may not always be possible.
Manageability and Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
Modern workplaces have different needs; a single authentication system or method is not sufficient. Most of the MFA solutions are point solutions, each supporting a limited number of methods. Having multiple point solutions for each of the business needs increases the complexity of the deployment, not to mention the added cost of maintaining the different point solutions. The turnaround time to introduce a new authentication method to the existing infrastructure may be long.
Easily Manageable, and Cost-Effective MFA deployment using NetIQ
The MFA solution that an organization chooses shall grow with the business needs and adapt to the constantly changing needs of the employees, as well as the adhere to various regulations.
NetIQ Advanced Authentication (NetIQ AA) does just that. It provides an environment where all the authentication requirements can be met from a single point, whether an existing environment or a new one. It provides a wide range of devices and integrates with almost any authentication reader or device and supports password-less authentication. In short, NetIQ Advanced Authentication comes with reduced TCO to consolidate all the strong authentication needs with a simple, manageable, flexible, targeted, open and risk aware framework.
NetIQ Advanced Authentication provides a lot of flexibility not just in terms of authentication methods but also the support for the platforms and the applications with admin console to manage administration, configuration, helpdesk, and enrolment options.
Comprehensive set of Methods
Its comprehensive and intuitive framework provides an opportunity to consolidate several methods that includes Geo Fencing, Out of the Band (OOB) Push, OTP, SMS, External Auth, FIDO U2F, Cards, and Biometrics.
Easier Integration with numerous interfaces
It offers several interfaces to collaborate with applications and interfaces that includes Active Directory Federation Services, RADIUS, OAUTH 2, SAML 2, REST APIs, Windows CP, OSX Auth, Linux PAM (Pluggable Authentication Modules for Linux) .
Advanced Authentication adheres to Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2.
NetIQ Advanced Authentication offers variety of reports and dashboards that makes it easy for the organization’s compliance needs.
With a consolidated approach to MFA, NetIQ is less complex to deploy and maintain. Its strength also lies in the multitude of out-of-the-box integrations making it the go-to solution to reduce costs and maximize investments.
This was part one of a two-part series. In the next instalment, we talk about the architecture and the use cases that NetIQ Advanced Authentication supports.
In the meantime, we have two videos on NetIQ Unplugged in which may be of interest.
NetIQ provides security solutions that help organizations with workforce and consumer identity and access management at enterprise-scale. By providing secure access, effective governance, scalable automation, and actionable insight, NetIQ customers can achieve greater confidence in their IT security posture across cloud, mobile, and data platforms.