3 Authentication Strategies Organizations Need for Cybersecurity Today: Enterprise Password Management and Beyond

3 Authentication Strategies Organizations Need for Cybersecurity Today: Enterprise Password Management and Beyond


As global leaders strive to navigate global threats, technology experts are urging companies to step up their cybersecurity systems and business continuity plans to prevent a possible wave of state-backed cyberattacks. Modern computer security can sometimes feel like a moving target. With the list of new developments and susceptibilities, sometimes computers forget the most vulnerable point of attack: passwords.

Many information security professionals have long known that passwords are a weak link in the security chain. For example, one in four defaults in 2021 used stolen passwords, according to the latest Verizon data breach investigation report. Therefore, in the case of foreign affairs (or modern day business operations), all a hacker needs is to find an account spreadsheet, as was the case with the recent Lapsus $ breach, to release business secrets. and stop productivity.

Recognized but often unaddressed

Most organizations have recognized this vulnerability and have adopted strong password guidelines such as minimum length and a mix of letters, numbers, characters and capitalization rules, and password changes at certain intervals. However, this growing list of password requirements makes them increasingly difficult to remember.

The proliferation of SaaS and applications has also exponentially increased the number of passwords, causing headaches for both users and IT professionals. In addition to the confusion, each of these passwords includes different user experiences, expirations, and policies. Users respond to this complexity by avoiding changes, choosing weak and insecure passwords. They often aggravate the problem by reusing existing passwords and writing them down.

Poor hygiene and inconsistent maintenance can create obstacles to an organization’s day-to-day operations. These difficulties range from minor to significant and include user frustration, a high volume of support calls, poor authentication, and ultimately compromised security and business continuity issues.

The clear and present danger of IT passwords in the shadows

Sound corporate password management is essential to secure modern businesses. While companies are introducing long-term strategies like Zero Trust, a quick win is securing one of the most popular entry points for hackers: passwords. And with hundreds of decentralized and largely unmanaged shadow IT passwords (with poor password hygiene, etc.) outside of your organization’s access and identity management program, it’s a considerable risk.

Also, while organizations should prepare for a future based on password-free authentication, that reality is still a long way off. In the meantime, companies need to implement a strategy that uses as few passwords as possible, including products such as a password manager for companies, federations, and privileged access management (PAM).

Creating a new authentication database

A corporate password safe and a corporate password manager are the perfect complement to a business organization’s existing password management software. These applications manage and store credentials online, making multiple logins a thing of the past. Employees will not have to memorize between 30 and 100 passwords to operate in day-to-day operations; in contrast, corporate password management tools only require users to know a password.

Businesses should complement a business password manager with a unique time-based password token (TOTP) to ensure better authentication. A strong password manager is required to store encryption keys or even entire files. Depending on their nature, it is also important that these secrets can be shared without the risk of being leaked or intercepted. This makes corporate password management for employees (and IT) perfect and more secure.

The company’s password managers are not the end of cybersecurity, but a key part of the security journey. More authentication steps are needed to protect organizations from dynamic threats.

Taking it to the next level with the federation

Once a company establishes a new foundation for managing corporate passwords, business organizations need to consider federated access to solutions and resources. The best part? Federation provides the baseline for the goal of a password-free experience in the future.

In a federated ecosystem, the first system is called an identity provider or IdP. The application (or second system) is called a service provider or SP, and the message sent between systems is called an affirmation. It usually includes the user profile ID and other relevant information that the SP needs to create a user session. The statement is signed cryptographically, so the SP can trust that it comes from the legitimate and authorized IdP. An example of federation is when users can use their Gmail account or social media credentials to sign in to other apps, websites, and resources.

SaaS is the main engine driving the federation. Therefore, its off-premises capabilities are perfect for organizations that now exist in a world where hybrid and remote work is a possibility anytime, anywhere.

Federated access provides greater security and efficiency for IT administrators and, by removing credentials from the process, provides an essential step in password-free authentication. The challenge is to create this universal password-free experience because many applications and resources do not yet support federated standards. Federation handles many of the challenges that arise with managing corporate passwords, but what about the issues with highly sensitive privileged accounts?

Go all-in with privileged access management

Business password management and federated access solutions focus on authenticating users with permanent privileges in an environment. Permanent access is an existing account in a business enterprise with the level of authorization required to complete a task that an employee can use at any time.

Many companies inevitably have a significant number of these types of accounts, but some applications are too critical to allow users to maintain permanent access to them. For these accounts, especially those with high-value privileges, policies and controls should adhere to the principle of zero permanent privileges (ZSPs).

In this case, security and IT teams will want to provide users with just-in-time (JIT) access to these solutions. In this way, cybersecurity can move towards a strategy that uses as few passwords as possible and Zero Trust.

Privileged Access Management (WFP) platforms work with the fundamental premise of removing user access to persistent credentials for a large portion of advanced users, and providing temporary access through temporary rights. By implementing WFP-enabled processes, such as removing user access to high-value credentials and requiring them to request access, organizations can create a less trusted environment that fosters zero trust.

This capability makes a privileged access management platform a requirement for business organizations seeking to complete a fully capable and protective stack of cybersecurity.

The full authentication image

A password manager for enterprise, federation, and privileged access management platforms is the perfect trio to protect organizations. These are industry-tested and adopted approaches to minimizing the passwords users need. Each of these approaches moves the organization in a measurable way along the path of their Zero Trust journey.

As they prepare for a future based on #no-password authentication, businesses need to implement a strategy that uses as few passwords as possible, including a password manager, federation, and privileged access management (PAM). . # cybersecurity #respect dataClick to tweet

While federation is the benchmark for managing corporate passwords when a solution supports it, modern businesses require the flexibility and adaptability that includes adding a company password manager and a privileged access management. These three strategies will create a dynamic, forward-looking cybersecurity strategy to protect current organizations and continue to reduce risk in the future.





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