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Top Six Things to Consider with an Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS) Solution – Blog 5 of 6

5. Robust Access Policies and Multi-factor Authentication (MFA)

 

Centrify LogoToday you live with the risks of users accessing many more services outside the corporate network perimeter as well as users carrying many more devices to access these services. Users have too many passwords and the passwords are inherently weak. In fact passwords have become more of an impediment to users than they are protection from hackers and other malevolent individuals and organizations. In short, in many cases, passwords alone cannot be trusted to properly and securely identify users.

Consequently, you need a better solution that incorporates strong authentication and one that delivers a common multi-factor experience across all your apps — SaaS, cloud, mobile, and onpremises. The solution also needs to have access policies that take into account the complete context of the access request and helps to overcome these new security risks. In addition, you need the capability to establish flexible access policies for each app for more granular and adaptive control. For example, if a user is accessing a common app from a trusted device on the corporate network from his home country during business hours ,then simply allow him silent SSO access to the apps. But if that same user is accessing an app outside the corporate network from a device that is not trusted, outside of business hours, and from a foreign country then deny them access — or at least require additional factors of authentication.

Specifically, you need an IDaaS solution that ensures security authentication by combining multi-factor authentication (MFA) and rich, flexible per-app authentication policies.

Multifactor authentication methods should include at least:

• Soft token with one-button authentication to simplify the experience
• One Time Passcode (OTP) over SMS text or email
• Interactive Phone Call to the user’s mobile device and requirement for a confirmation before authentication can proceed
• User configurable security question to act as a second password

Per-app authentication policies should allow, deny or step up authentication based on a rich understanding of the context of the request based on any combination of:

• Time of day, work hours
• Inside/Outside corporate network
• User role or attributes
• Device attributes (type, management status)
• Location of request or location of user’s other devices
• App client attributes
• Custom logic based on specific organizational needs

Top Six Things to Consider with an Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS) Solution – Blog 4 of 6

4. Mobile Access Management

Centrify LogoMobile has become the de facto way to access cloud apps requiring you to ensure security and enable functionality of users devices. This includes deploying appropriate client apps to the right device and ensuring an appropriately streamlined mobile experience. Unfortunately, most existing Identity and Access Management as a Service (IDaaS) solutions fall short when
it comes to mobile support because they were built and architected before it became clear that mobile devices (smart phones and tablets) were going to become the preeminent means to access apps. Instead, they are very web browser centric—i.e. their mobile IDaaS experience just supports web-based apps vs. also supporting rich mobile apps and device security. They also
provide no means to ensure that the user’s mobile device is trusted and secure, and while they may provision a user in the cloud service, they ignore giving the end user the corresponding app on their device.

Consequently, you should look for an IDaaS solution that allows your users to enroll their mobile devices and deliver strong authentication mechanisms (using PKI certificates). The solution should let you apply mobile device-specific group policies to ensure the underlying device is secure (e.g., ensure that a PIN is required to unlock the phone, etc.), detect jailbroken or rooted devices, and allow you to remotely lock, unenroll or wipe a lost or stolen device. Once you associate the device with a user and can trust the device you can leverage the device as an identifying factor for the user in cases where additional factors are required for multifactor and step-up athentication.

The solution should also provide unified app management for both web-based and mobile client apps. This ensures that users are not left with partial access or access defined and managed in separate silos of access management such as separate mobile device management solutions (MDM). Both app and mobile management should share the same roles, identities, management tools, reports and event logs. This unification of mobile and app access management reduces redundant tools, processes and skillsets.

Mobile has quickly become the de facto way to
access apps. Centrify uniquely unifies app and
mobile access management.

Top Six Things to Consider with an Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS) Solution – Blog 3 of 6

Centrify Logo3. Complete App Access Lifecycle Management

When a user is new to the organization or takes on a different role within the company, an IDaaS solution should make it easy — and automatic — for you to provision users to cloud or on-premises apps with automated account creation, role-based license and authorization management, single sign-on, mobile app client management and automated account deprovisioning. This automation frees up your precious few IT resources and empowers the user to be productive sooner than through existing and often manual onboarding checklists.

Full app access lifecycle management offers key benefits, enabling IT organizations to save time and money by automatically creating user accounts across cloud apps for new employees. Provisioning can eliminate helpdesk calls by allowing you to deploy the right apps — with the right access — the very first time. Provisioning eliminates any follow-on tasks by IT for enabling the user, and also eliminates user confusion. Automatic identity federation provides single sign-on to those apps, without requiring multiple passwords that can be easily lost, stolen or forgotten. Role-based licensing and authorization management for key apps such as Office 365, Salesforce, Box, and more further reduces your IT burden and allows you to quickly get users productive. The same capabilities make it possible to offboard users automatically (disabling or removing users from a group triggers user account de-provisioning) ensuring security and compliance by removing access immediately, removing mobile client apps and their data, instantly deactivating app accounts, and freeing up app licenses.

Centrify manages the complete lifecycle for
app access including account provisioning,
federation for SSO, mobile app management,
centralized visibility and complete deprovisioning
when the users changes roles

Top Six Things to Consider with an Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS) Solution – Blog 2 of 6

2. Identity Where You Want It

An IDaaS solution also needs to be flexible, providing robust access to corporate identities managed on-premises (e.g., Active Directory or LDAP), a directory service in the cloud for non-AD users such as partners or customers, and when appropriate, a hybrid of the on-premisesand cloud directories. This is in stark contrast to other startup IDaaS vendors who only allowyou to store identity data in their cloud directory. In order to leverage user data stored andmanaged in Active Directory, they first require that a portion of this data be replicated to their cloud and out of your control.

This cloud-only approach may not appeal to some organizations that — rightly or wrongly —
have concerns about losing control of the proverbial keys to the kingdom. Organizations may
also have reservations of creating another silo of identity to manage, unique security or privacy
concerns, or legitimate concerns about the long-term viability of the vendor.

To enable this “identity where you want it,” a well-engineered IDaaS solution should deliver
robust integration with on-premises Active Directory or LDAP, should support cloud-only
deployments consisting of non-Active Directory or LDAP -based user identities, as well as a
hybrid of Active Directory, LDAP, and / or cloud deployment.

Active Directory support should offer built-in integrated windows authentication (IWA) without
separate infrastructure and should automatically load balance and failover without any
additional infrastructure or configuration. Most importantly, it should not replicate Active
Directory data to the cloud where it is out of the organization’s control — even if you choose to
manage some of your users via a cloud model.

The diagram below shows the deployment options an IDaaS solution should support. As you
can see, this hybrid approach gives you the best of both worlds in terms of flexibility.

Contact Us for more information on your IDaaS or Centrify Solutions. 

Top Six Things to Consider with an IDaas Solution – Blog 1 of 6

1. Single Sign-On

Single Sign-On (SSO) is the ability to log into an app (cloud-based, on premises, or mobile app)
every time using a single/federated identity. For consumers this identity can be their social
media identity, such as Facebook or Google, while an enterprise identity is typically the user’s
Active Directory ID. Without SSO, users need to remember complex passwords for each app.
Or worse, they use common or easily remembered (i.e. weak) passwords. For users, the result
is a frustratingly fragmented workflow, which can include signing into dozens of different apps
during the workday. For IT, the problems of too many passwords, or insecure passwords, are
obvious—with a costly data breach ranking at the top among concerns. A properly architected
SSO increases both user productivity and corporate app security.
So what should you look for when deploying SSO? At the simplest, a solution should enable
you to improve end-user satisfaction and streamline workflows by providing a single identity
to access all business apps — whether the apps reside in the cloud, or on-premises behind
your firewall. It also needs to unify and deliver access to apps from all end-user platforms—
desktops, laptops and mobile devices.
In a properly architected system, once users authenticate by logging in with their enterprise ID
(e.g., Active Directory) they should enjoy one-click access to cloud, on-premises or mobile apps.
Remote access to on-premises apps should be just as simple as accessing cloud apps: without
requiring VPN hardware or client software. This type of SSO — using standards like SAML — will
not only reduce user frustration and improve productivity but also enhance security. Federated
SSO is better because it does not transmit the user name and password to the app over the
network, but instead sends a time-limited and secured token verifying that the user who
is attempting access is known and trusted. In addition, by eliminating the use of passwords
and their transmission across networks, you can reduce the likelihood of users locking their
accounts and calling the helpdesk, eliminate password risks such as non-compliant and usermanaged passwords, and make it possible to instantly revoke or change a user’s access to apps
without an admin having to reach out to each and every app.

Contact Us for more information on your IDaaS or Centrify Solutions.