Endpoints

Do you need more Security Factors?

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Chances are, yes, you do.

Security is one of the areas of spending in which the budget rarely gets smaller, because security is important to every organization. It’s critical that only authorized users are able to access enterprise applications and information.

As phishing and other social engineering attacks proliferate, IT departments look for new ways to ensure the person logging in to the account is the person to whom the account belongs. The search for greater security leads most of these departments toward multi-factor authentication.

Three basic factors of authentication

There are three basic “factors” of authentication:

  1. Something you know

  2. Something you are

  3. Something you have

In the most common authentication scheme, a single factor is used. We’re all familiar with the basic username and password combination that introduces everyone to the idea of authentication. That is single-factor authentication, since it’s all about what you know.

For a growing number of companies, that single factor is no longer enough, especially since it involves information that can easily be shared, stolen, or coaxed from a user.

Time to get physical?

One form of authentication most often talked about now is biometrics—that is, using something you are to authenticate an account.

A wide variety of body parameters can be used as authentication factors, ranging from fingerprints and hand prints to facial recognition and iris scans. It’s even possible to use unique characteristics of an individual’s voice to authenticate the individual.

Thinking hardware

One of the critical points of deploying any form of biometric authentication is that workstations must have the hardware necessary to “read” the biometric information.

1. Keyboards

While still not universal, many laptop computers and desktop workstation keyboards are available with fingerprint scanners, though care must be taken when looking at specifications. Some scanners will require more user training than others for reliable, consistent use.

2. Audio/visual

Cameras and microphones built in to laptop workstations can be used for facial- and voice-pattern recognition, while cameras, microphones, and fingerprint readers can be added via USB to either laptop or desktop systems until new, biometric-ready systems can be purchased on the refresh schedule.

Relying on token security

The third factor in authentication is something you have. This is most frequently a one-time token generated by a dedicated device or, increasingly, by an app on a smartphone. In this authentication, after providing a username and password, the user must provide the numeric token displayed on the token-generating device.

In all forms of authentication, IT departments must weigh security against usability. With today’s technology, it would be entirely possible to require four or five different forms of authentication to log in to an account. But how many users have access to information that is so valuable that it justifies a ten-minute routine in order to log in? Adding just a second factor, especially one that can’t be easily shared or stolen, provides significant security with minimal impact on usability.

How can we help secure your information?

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Manage your endpoints from one screen

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A few IT managers see their servers and network as an Iron castle of order and stability surrounded by a horde of anarchic devices. Other IT professionals know that it's as important to manage the end-point devices as it is the central servers. Understanding a few crucial points can help you adopt the latter’s serene view of their world.

See endpoints as tribes

It can be useful to view each type of your organization's endpoints as a collection of tribes. Each tribe (device) serves its particular set of users in a particular way.

Laptops and tablets serve given groups in different ways. Field sales and human resources employees use laptops in different ways. This means that as an IT manager, you can not manage each tribe the same way. It is rare that a "one size fits all" approach will be the most successful approach, but that doesn't mean you can't use a single framework for managing all the tribes.

Points of convergence

A single framework can implement a lot of different tactics for a single strategy regarding your endpoints. The good news is that a single family of software can take care of that. One of the most significant issues to be managed is configuration: Are the workstations, whether desktop, laptop, or handheld, running the approved version of the operating system, applications, and security components? Proper patching and configuration is one of the central points at which all the tribes converge.

Using agents

Things get much more complicated when employees can (or must) bring their own devices of one type or another. It's one thing for an employee to spend their own money for a work-related tool. It's quite another to ask them to agree to load an intrusive agent on their personal system. Agent-less management systems are available to enterprises, or systems that rely on minimalist agents. How small an agent can manage all your tribes? It might be time to find out.

Choose where you can

Managing the endpoints can mean choosing as many of the endpoints as possible. While most management frameworks will give you control over legacy endpoints, there's no question that current-generation hardware takes manageability to a new level. If you want, or need, the highest degree of managed functionality in your fleet of tribes, you will want to make sure that as many members of the fleet as possible use the same CPU, same operating system, or same support chips. It's your choice—use it wisely.

Manage it all from one screen

New software makes endpoint management a problem of the past. Current Technologies and our partnership with Auvik remote monitoring and management software can make the one screen dream a reality. Auvik Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) software allows you to do much more than simply watch your servers and endpoints. By utilizing RMM software from Auvik, it is easier than ever to keep an eye on everything from routers and switches to firewalls. Doing so cuts costs by avoiding outages, optimizing connections, saving time and controlling service level agreements (SLAs).

Auvik cloud based network management software has automated, networking best, practices built into every aspect from alerting thresholds to configuration analysis. Auvik RMM software features state of the art visual topology which gives your IT department the ability to view and monitor every device in your network, allowing them to do more in less time.

For more information on what Current Technologies and Auvik RMM software can do for you, please fill out the form below and we will be in touch with you as soon as possible

Find out what Auvik RMM can do for you

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