Arraya Insights | May 28, 2015
End users love simplicity. What else could explain the enduring popularity of easy to remember passwords such as “123456,” “letmein” and, of course, the notorious “password?” Unfortunately, in this instance, simplicity and security don’t go hand-in-hand. While those passwords may be easy to remember, they don’t offer much in the way of actually keeping the bad guys out.
Securing your company’s apps and data is a big enough job on its own. When employees are leaving the front door to your network or cloud environment open with weak passwords, it makes a tough job even tougher.
The good news is simple and secure don’t have to live in different neighborhoods. Not if you leverage an enterprise security option which can unite them.
Contented users and a secure environment. What could be better?
Blend simple and effective
Azure Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) can help get you there. This tool adds another layer of authentication through phone calls, text messages, or mobile app notifications to supplement passwords and ensure the person logging into an account is who they claim to be. Employees may already be using a similar process to secure their bank accounts, their retirement funds or even their own personal cloud accounts for things like iTunes. So incorporating it into their work lives likely shouldn’t cause any major waves.
While it still doesn’t make it a good idea to use “password” as a password, it makes for a safer environment. The high level features and benefits of MFA include:
- Impressive scope. MFA can be deployed on site or in the cloud to reduce risk and ensure the regulatory compliance of your Azure, Office 365 and other SaaS apps. How many other apps? Try almost 2,500. Federated apps include Salesforce, Dropbox and ServiceNow. Even your corporate Twitter and LinkedIn accounts can be locked down more tightly through MFA.
- Flexible pricing model. MFA runs on a consumption-based pricing model, much like what you’d see with websites, VMs, etc. You can either pay per user or per authentication, whichever model makes the most sense for your company in terms of finances and expected usage.
- Scalability. How many accounts and applications need that extra layer of security is up to you. For example, you could decide it’s only worth it to further harden admin accounts because of their level of access. Or, you could determine that all of your accounts can access enough sensitive data to justify a company-wide MFA rollout. It all depends on the level of security your leadership team feels is appropriate.
- Monitoring & alerts in real time. Machine-based learning capabilities mean MFA is able to identify inconsistent log-in patterns and alert IT to them right away. Say an employee logs in to his or her account from a mobile device in Pennsylvania and then 15 minutes later someone tries to access that account from California. IT will be alerted about the possible threat.
Want a deeper technical dive of Azure MFA? Check back soon for a closer look at the technologies that power MFA, put together by our industry-leading team of Microsoft experts. In the meantime, to learn more about our Microsoft capabilities or to schedule an appointment with an Arraya Account Executive, visit www.ArrayaSolutions.com.
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