Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Endpoint

10/14/2010
04:53 PM
50%
50%

Proof Of Identity: How To Choose Multifactor Authentication

Choosing the right Web authentication method means weighing cost vs. risk

[Excerpted from "Proof of Identity: How To Choose Multifactor Authentication," a new report posted this week on Dark Reading's Authentication Tech Center.]

To control access to your Web-based applications, you need to identify and authenticate anyone wishing to use them -- that is, verify they are who they say they are. But how do you choose the right method of authentication? There's the rub.

Why do you need to implement strong or two-factor authentication for your Web applications? First, lawmakers have pushed security to the top of the agenda, and strong authentication is part of that agenda. Laws such as Sarbanes-Oxley and requirements such as PCI DSS mean single-factor authentication is no longer adequate for protecting access to high-value or personally identifiable information and providing reliable audit trails.

Second, any organization that sees customer trust as a business priority needs to provide secure authentication, and the password approach doesn't do that. Many organizations, though, are wary of implementing strong authentication due to its perceived cost. However, managing passwords can be expensive, too. They provide too low a level of trust to be considered a viable option where assets of any value are involved.

And the situation's getting worse. The growing use of number-crunching power of modern graphics cards to carry out brute-force attacks will soon make it trivial for hackers to crack strong passwords. Adding a second-factor credential to the authentication process provides additional security as well as a higher level of trust between a user and an application. Let's look at some of the options for authenticating users to Web applications.

The technologies for implementing strong Web authentication are:

  • Soft or hard digital certificates
  • One-time passwords (OTP)
  • Challenge-response
  • Authentication-as-a-service (AaaS)

Management is going to want a solution that's effective, flexible, and scalable, and can be implemented with minimum disruption and cost. Your customers, on the other hand, will want a solution that not only offers increased security but is easy to use.

There are three key factors to consider when choosing the right solution: time, risk and cost. If you know what your users will bear in terms of time to log on, and if you can weigh the risks associated with each method against its costs, you will find the solution that fits best for your applications.

For a detailed discussion of how to evaluate these factors and how they stack up against the various alternatives in Web authentication, download the full report.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
I 'Hacked' My Accounts Using My Mobile Number: Here's What I Learned
Nicole Sette, Director in the Cyber Risk practice of Kroll, a division of Duff & Phelps,  11/19/2019
6 Top Nontechnical Degrees for Cybersecurity
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  11/21/2019
Anatomy of a BEC Scam
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  11/21/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Navigating the Deluge of Security Data
In this Tech Digest, Dark Reading shares the experiences of some top security practitioners as they navigate volumes of security data. We examine some examples of how enterprises can cull this data to find the clues they need.
Flash Poll
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Frustrated with recurring intrusions and breaches, cybersecurity professionals are questioning some of the industrys conventional wisdom. Heres a look at what theyre thinking about.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-15593
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-22
GitLab 12.2.3 contains a security vulnerability that allows a user to affect the availability of the service through a Denial of Service attack in Issue Comments.
CVE-2019-16285
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-22
If a local user has been configured and logged in, an unauthenticated attacker with physical access may be able to extract sensitive information onto a local drive.
CVE-2019-16286
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-22
An attacker may be able to bypass the OS application filter meant to restrict applications that can be executed by changing browser preferences to launch a separate process that in turn can execute arbitrary commands.
CVE-2019-16287
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-22
An attacker may be able to leverage the application filter bypass vulnerability to gain privileged access to create a file on the local file system whose presence puts the device in Administrative Mode, which will allow the attacker to executed commands with elevated privileges.
CVE-2019-18909
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-22
The VPN software within HP ThinPro does not safely handle user supplied input, which may be leveraged by an attacker to inject commands that will execute with root privileges.