Evaluating A Remote Access Authenticator: Some Factors To Consider

    Companies have become more open now than ever to the possibility of workers working remotely. Many are embracing it as a permanent option in the future. For both workers and employers, the advantages of remote work are limitless. This creates a healthier work-life balance that eventually impacts productivity. Companies will increase their pool of talent as well as save on spending on expensive office space. That being said, while remote work is convenient, it is far from secure.

    Although there are many choices available for employees to use mobile device-based authenticator apps to sign in to business applications and services, there are a few things to consider. When deciding the remote access authenticator for your organization, you can look for the following:

    1. Use Cases Supported 

    The two key uses for remote access authenticator apps are multi-factor authentication (MFA) and passwordless login. To complete the authentication process, MFA needs a password and then uses the app. Passwordless is an extension of the MFA to remove password-related hassles and security threats. The user is authenticated using two different criteria, also known as 2-factor authentication (2FA), by using a mobile device as one factor and another authenticator, such as a fingerprint scan. 

    2. Systems, Services, and Platforms Supported

    The authenticator app must support the operating systems, platforms, and services typically used in business environments such as Macs, Windows, VPNs, virtual desktops, cloud services, and on-premise web apps.

    3. Methods Of Authentication

    A broad range of standard authentication techniques for the user should be enabled by the remote access authenticator app. Push notifications to the mobile device, biometric authenticators such as fingerprint and facial recognition, mobile applications initiated, QR codes, soft tokens, and one-time challenge response codes should be supported at least.

    4. Offline Mode

    The authenticator must also work and do it safely in circumstances where the device or the target system is offline, such as on an airplane or if the mobile has no service. A stored collection of PIN codes shared by both devices is used by some solutions. If you log in offline too many times, they can be vulnerable to hacking, can be drained, and must be coordinated with all the systems that need to be accessed. You need a solution that uses public-key cryptography and rolling keys that do not store any shared secrets to get around this, allowing you to sign in to any device as many times as you need.

    5. Risk-Based Authentication

    Enterprises are more broadly embracing the principles of zero-trust and Gartner’s CARTA system. Automated policies can be used to increase or decrease friction depending on the confidence level of the user and system, using real-time risk identification. Solutions lacking trust management in real-time would eventually become obsolete.

    6. Flexibility with an SDK

    The vendor can provide a remote access authenticator as a standalone app that you can download from Google Play, iOS App Store, or as an SDK that you can incorporate into an existing corporate application that you may already have. To satisfy your unique requirements, an SDK helps you to configure the authenticator app.

    7. Centralized Authentication Support

    A mobile app with biometrics is a fantastic form of authentication, but there are situations where it cannot be used, such as when a remote user wants to onboard a substitute for a missing or stolen smartphone. For these special circumstances, features like centralized voice biometrics and OTP over SMS are required.

    8. Key Security

    The mobile device, together with the authenticator app, becomes a highly sensitive security element that contains the user’s private cryptographic keys. To avoid them from being stolen, the keys stored on the computer must be rolled automatically on a periodic basis. For most companies, this is a necessary condition.

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