Adaptive Authentication

What is adaptive authentication? 

An Adaptive authentication is an approach that verifies the identity of users based on factors such as location, device status, and end-user behavior. Contextual factors allow adaptive authentication to choose how a user must authenticate. Because it continuously updates itself throughout the session, rather than just once, zero-trust authentication methods increase security and improve the user experience. 

Why is adaptive authentication necessary? 

Today’s companies are very open to their employees’ use of technology. They even support their employees’ use of technology to an extent that would have been unheard of not too long ago. 

Today’s companies need a workforce that can work remotely and from various devices. Full-time or part-time remote employment models allow team members to work from a wide range of locations and bring your device (BYOD) policies to make it possible to use any endpoints. This increased adaptability makes companies feel more empowered. In addition, it allows them to get more productivity out of their teams in many cases.

With all the threats that companies face these days, even those with perfect security will likely be vulnerable to specific cyber threats. With adaptive authentication, rather than using a rigid set of policies enforced on every device and user indiscriminately, this method involves authentication and authorization levels based on user role, location, device status, and end-user behavior. Cybersecurity isn’t one-size-fits-all. It requires the right approach, technologies, and a different mindset when designing, building, deploying, and securing cybersecurity solutions.

Flexibility is an essential requirement for any work environment to succeed. But it’s also a key ingredient for success in the business world. For example, authenticating online users effectively is a problem – by integrating a mobile payment solution with your online store, you can reduce credit card fraud and create a secure environment for your customers.

How does adaptive authentication work? 

Adaptive authentication is a risk-based authentication approach. To enable this security control, the primary system must know the status of every user—who’s logged in, who’s logged out, what their account status is, and where they are. So, it’s not just made at the time of login but is continuously evaluated throughout the end-user session. 

Adaptive Authentication

There are two basic types of network connections: “productive” and “malicious.” An authenticated, authorized user will connect to the system for a productive reason. A misconfigured server or a hacker will attempt to communicate with a malicious purpose, such as stealing information or disrupting business. For example, when someone clicks on an item on Amazon.com, they might see ads about other products similar to their last purchase. These new products may be more relevant to their shopping and browsing interests. 

Difference between Simple and Complex security layer
Difference between Simple and Complex security layer

You can use multiple factors when using a risk engine. For example, the risk engine uses several factors as fuel for analytics and determines whether a specific user session poses an elevated risk.  

Once you’ve created a password and added an account to an organizational unit (OU), Amazon sends out an email to the address in the OU with instructions for activating the account. As a result, all low-risk activities (like playing online games, watching videos, or reading a book) provide individuals with a seamless experience that allows them to get the most enjoyment from their devices without worrying about making system changes or going through lengthy user setup. 

When it comes to action, there are a few levels to it. For example, if you’re viewing a high volume of spam from a particular IP address, the system could warn the account owner and block further messages. An attacker might try to exploit two types of risks: a high degree of risk and a low degree of risk. 

Of course, if the risk score is high, the system can block access altogether. You can also configure granular policies as part of the adaptive authentication process. For example, when users log in from devices not managed by the company, they might not be able to access network drive mapping or copy/paste functions. Other methods include disabling features of the operating system, disabling USB port access, and turning off screen capturing to minimize exposure. 

Risk engine classification
Risk engine classification

Why should organizations use adaptive authentication? 

Adaptive Authentication Policies are one part of a Zero Trust Security Approach. 

It doesn’t automatically grant users or their devices access to network resources or corporate data simply because they’ve logged in with the proper credentials. Their security posture is constantly assessed and verified. Cyber-attacks increasingly threaten companies. Zero trust strategies are an essential part of protecting companies. There are many ways for data breaches to occur.

A mobile device could be compromised, lost, or stolen, or a home or business Wi-Fi network may be compromised, creating a need for a blanket security strategy to guard against any breach. To securely support their growing hybrid workforce, an organization is looking to combine adaptive authentication with single sign-on (SSO) methods. With SSO, users will be able to log into all corporate applications with a single set of authentication credentials. 

How can organizations use adaptive authentication? 

What systems, tools, apps, and solutions can companies use to allow access through methods powered by intelligent adaptive authentication? The answer is anything and everything. With the proper authentication controls, administrators can set policies for accessing certain apps and determine what operations are available to users, such as restricting copy/paste, printing and downloads, or adding a watermark to a web application based on up-to-date authentication factors. 

Virtual applications, or virtual desktops, enable businesses to offer a full-feature experience to remote and hybrid workforces. Every system your company uses that is accessible to employees, either physically or virtually, is a “mission-critical system.” So, if you want to make your business run efficiently and profitably, you need to have sound IT systems that work for the people who run your business and who use those systems. This means that the traditional approach to remote control of applications is evolving away from VPN use.

Users of remote experiences can use these experiences in a far more flexible and user-friendly manner. Modern access methods allow companies to operate without risking customers’ identities and without a need to store sensitive data in the cloud. It’s common for people who use remote access to replicate the desktop experience. 

More and more businesses are relying heavily on SaaS applications. That is an increase from the point of view of a business. All these can become part of a zero-trust architecture based on adaptive authentication. The cloud is a perfect match for remote and hybrid work on paper. It’s the most natural application platform for applications that you access remotely from everywhere, so you might want to look. Employees still need a secure way to log in to mission-critical applications. This type of authentication can play a role in defending the essential software tools against unauthorized use. 

Modern security solutions are delivered as cloud services. Instead of being run inside company data centers, they are web resources that can integrate with all business systems and applications, regardless of whether those are SaaS apps or on-premises software accessed through a virtual desktop model.  

Solutions for adaptive authentication 

Adopting a zero-trust network access approach using a dynamic security solution and adapting it for the modern workforce is a step toward securing remote work and business-critical networks. The next step is to ensure that the business has a partner it can depend on for the future. 

This is where Appviewx RBAC (Role-based access control) enables various lines of business to deliver advanced access and security experience with features including:  

Zero trust network access (ZTNA) to all private applications, including web, SaaS, and virtual applications—whether they’re deployed on-premises or on any public cloud, and accessed from within or outside of a digital workspace  

Adaptive authentication focused on user identity, geolocation, device posture, and risk profiles, both before and after logging into any system or application  

The ability to work natively

Support for contextual security and authorization policies, allowing administrators to set escalating security features based on real-time risk factors  

Integrated remote browser isolation technology that lets users securely access corporate applications from unmanaged devices or without a ZTNA plugin 

Controls that prevent hijacking of user credentials or taking screenshots of applications by key loggers and screen capturing malware  

An unbroken user experience in which all but the highest-priority security controls are invisible, simply taking effect and not interrupting workflows 

Budget savings come from employees’ ability to keep using their own devices rather than specialized, company-owned endpoints. 

Many organizations already have or will soon transition to a hybrid work model. This is simply the way business will be done in the years ahead. It’s up to IT to make sure the remote access experience is as secure and convenient as possible. 

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