Risk Based Authentication In Cloud

At the time when data theft is rampant in the cyber world, it’s necessary to stem the growing uneasiness among users about the security and protection of their personal data. The reason for this breach is the password thefts. Once a hacker gets hold of a password, it can be used to access any of the victims online accounts, resulting in privacy and security being compromised.

One way to overcome this security breach is to have a strong risk based authentication process in place. Also known as multi factor authentication, it is an access control method that adds layers of identity verification to ensure only authorized users gain network access.

Is Risk Based Authentication the answer?

It might seem that password based authentication is dead. But, the emerging trend is providing Multifactor authentication along with the password protection. This move is justified since the businesses have moved to the cloud.

The flexible, scalable and highly available nature of the Cloud is a pain point for maintaining Identity and Access Management. Risk Based authentication provides an additional level of authentication for your cloud applications. It is a dynamic method of applying levels of protection to the system, based on various factors.

It is a multi step procedure to prevent any unauthorized access to sensitive data. It requires multiple pieces of information such as passwords, hardware credentials or software tokens, to be validated together, before a successful attempt.

How does risk based authentication work?

Usually risk based authentication determines a risk score for a login attempt, based on a users behavior including but not limited to location, previous activity, device used etc. It triggers an action based on the risk threshold limit which is set for a system. The more sensitive the system’s data is, the lower is the threshold limit.

Risk based authentication

It takes into account the risk profiles to determine whether the requesting access to the system is a valid one or not. As the level of risk increases, the authentication process becomes more comprehensive and restrictive.

The risk based authentication uses elements such as location based, role based, activity based and changes in the usual usage patterns

  • Role-based: Depending on who is accessing the account, they must pass a more stringent authentication content. Different levels of authentication is required for different users, such as a network administrator or for a regular user.
  • Location-based: Either by detecting the physical endpoint or specific geographic location. For example, if the user logged in ten minutes ago from a particular location, and is now trying to log in from another location which is practically impossible for him to be present, then it’s definitely considered a high-risk transaction. Other attributes can figure into the overall risk score, too.
  • IP Address-based: The IP address of the physical device or the end point of the connection is used to verify.
  • Activity-based: For example, large-value account transfers have a higher risk associated than just a balance inquiry.
  • Changes in usual transaction patterns: If a user is doing something that doesn’t match his or her purchase history, then that becomes a riskier transaction, and additional authentication measures are required for requests and logins.

Importance of risk based authentication

Risk-based authentication helps judge whether users are actually who they say they are, determines the correct (or minimum) credential requirements and works with a range of credentials.

Adaptive or risk-based authentication allows you to evaluate a set of contextual factors related to access attempts or transactions to better estimate the risk involved, without impacting the experience for legitimate users. As a robust, multi-channel risk assessment and fraud detection solution, it transparently helps you detect and prevent fraud. It also helps you with maintaining your organizations  internal and external compliance requirements, including FFIEC, HIPAA, PCI and SOX.

Before implementing a risk based authentication for your cloud network or website, a correct risk assessment should be performed by the administrator taking into account the following factors:

  • The size of the system, in terms of the number of users. As a system grows larger, the chance of a breach increases.
  • The extent to which the system is critical to maintaining the operation of the organization. The most critical systems carry the greatest risk of serious damage in the event of a breach.
  • The ease with which data can be compromised or the system cracked by someone with the means and intent to do so. In spite of budget constraints, the protective measures such as firewalls and antivirus software should be robust and up-to-date
  • Sensitive vital customer information such as names, addresses, numbers and Social Security numbers requires enhanced protection.

Drop a mail to info@sysfore.com or call us at +91-80-4110-5555 and our cloud experts will provide you more information on the Risk Based Authentication required for your organization.

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