Symark Adds AD Authentication for Linux, Unix

Symark Software introduces PowerADvantage to extend active directory functionality to UNIX and Linux systems

SAN FRANCISCO -- Symark Software, the leading provider of information security solutions for managing privileged account access, today announced PowerADvantage, a new integrated authentication and configuration solution. PowerADvantage extends Active Directory’s centralized authentication, authorization, account access, policy enforcement and infrastructure management functionality to UNIX and Linux systems. PowerADvantage reduces administration costs, improves security and supports compliance efforts by centrally managing user identifications, authentication, security policies and automatic deployment of configuration settings across heterogeneous UNIX and Linux environments.

“While Symark prides itself on being the industry’s leading provider of solutions for managing privileged access within heterogeneous IT environments, we are constantly working with our customers to improve their overall identity and access management programs,” said Robert H. Farber, chief operating officer at Symark Software. “PowerADvantage represents a tremendous opportunity for us by extending Active Directory’s excellent authentication, authorization and policy enforcement functionality to Linux and UNIX systems. Our extensive experience with Linux and UNIX security administration technology is incorporated into the product, which not only makes it a stronger offering, but is something other vendors do not bring to the table.”

How PowerADvantage Works

PowerADvantage implements an agent on UNIX and Linux machines that communicates with Active Directory’s domain controllers. During the installation of the PowerADvantage agent, the UNIX or Linux host is joined to the domain and the host is configured to route authentication requests through the PowerADvantage agent. This allows the PowerADvantage agent to communicate with the Active Directory domain controllers to process authentication requests and access the Group Policy Objects used for configuration management.

After installation, the computer object for each UNIX and Linux host can be moved to different organizational units in the Active Directory hierarchy, changing which set of Group Policy Objects apply to that host. The PowerADvantage Context of each host can also be changed, which will immediately change the login configuration for all Active Directory-based users logging in to that host. Both of these changes can be performed without re-booting the host or re-starting the PowerADvantage agent. Additionally, the PowerADvantage agent is configured by Group Policy, so any changes in the configuration of the agents can be performed through Group Policy without the need to visit each individual host.

“The IT environments at many of today’s global enterprises consist of literally hundreds or thousands of servers, all running a diverse mix of operating systems. This can create an administrative and security nightmare, increasing the need for more effective identity and access management solutions,” said Jon Oltsik, senior analyst, information security at Enterprise Strategy Group. “Symark’s PowerADvantage addresses this concern by extending Active Directory’s robust feature set to various versions of UNIX and Linux systems. By integrating PowerADvantage with Symark’s PowerBroker—the company’s solution for controlling privileged account access—organizations will be equipped with a cost-effective, comprehensive identity and access management solution that incorporates the UNIX and Linux systems running within their IT infrastructure.”

Symark Software