Last Updated on March 6, 2019
Human resource is one of the most valuable assets in any business. It’s the key to running most businesses, regardless of how automated it might be. In the face of cyber crime, your employees are also the strongest front you have in protecting your IT assets from downtime or even falling into the wrong hands.
Sadly, with issues such as phishing being on the rise, this defense front also becomes an easy point of attack. In fact, 76 percent of surveyed organizations confirmed that they had been victims of a phishing attack in 2017, according to the Wombat 2018 State of the Phish. This situation increases the need to implement risk-based user authentication as a tool to protect your company’s data from misappropriation.
Here is more on risk-based user authentication and what it has to offer:
The Perimeter of Attack Keeps On Changing
Conventionally, companies had to only worry about the data that is within their walls. With a few firewalls and the right in-house security tools, your security would be good to go. However, as the world of technology and the modern workplace evolved, so did the security needs.
While employees started working on-the-go, companies started embracing cheaper ways to launch applications such as working with software as a service.
This led to the traditional security perimeters becoming obsolete. Only those companies that embrace an identity and access management solution to protect their IT assets, with identity being the new security perimeter, can truly survive.
How Risk-Based User Authentication Fits Into This
Sometimes referred to as adaptive authentication, risk-based authentication is a form of authentication that takes into account the risk profile of an access request before allowing access.
It is mainly applied to functions which, if allowed, would introduce some form of risk to the IT assets. For instance, a function such as logging in to a network introduces some form of risk, especially if an intruder gains access to the password of an employee.
In most cases, the software will look into a variety of real-time factors of the login request and determine how risky it is. It will assess the IP address of the client, time of the day, and the hardware devices that the client is using. If anything looks amiss from the baseline performance by the specific user, then they will need to produce some other form of authentication to be granted access.
Risk-Based Authentication in Action
Risk-based authentication will raise the alarm if anything looks odd from a user. A person who is used to accessing your app from their computer once a day at home shouldn’t raise the alarm as long as this is the expected behavior. However, if the same user seems to want to access the account from a location in another continent at an abnormal frequency, then this should be a red flag.
They will need to answer a security question or even receive a text message to confirm that they are indeed the authorized users of the account. If a hacker is trying to access your systems, then they might not succeed. Since location and time aren’t always enough to determine the risk profile, such software also utilized a plethora of other factors such as text message and hardware identification to assess the risk.
Baselining Account Performance Is Key
Adaptive authentication mainly utilizes machine learning to identify risk factors and correct anything that might seem wrong. Therefore, it will not work efficiently if you do not have a performance baseline for all user accounts. When implementing it, it is wise to provision all user accounts and determine their performance baselines. This includes the accounts of any user who might work remotely.
Once a hacker gains access to the login details of one of your users, they gain access to your organization. Adaptive authentication simply helps to identify anything that might seem amiss from the actions of such hackers.
Use it as a complementary tool to your identity and access management software to evade having to deal with a cyber security attack.