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Access Management – The process of configuring the level of access for each user and group within a software system. Through this process, system administrators grant access to authorized users and restrict access to unauthorized users. This may be done hierarchically through the use of user groups. Access management requires periodic auditing and maintenance to keep up with evolving business needs and employee roles.
Further Resources: An Overview of Identity and Access Management (IAM)
IAM (Identity and Access Management): A guide to keeping the identity of your business in check
Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) – A federated authentication system for Microsoft-centric networks that use Microsoft Active Directory as their directory services system. ADFS aims to provide seamless authentication and single sign-on functionality across a very large organization, while supporting autonomy for each organizational group to manage their own access control needs.
Further Resources: Microsoft Active Directory and Active Directory Federation Services
Single Sign-On: The Difference Between ADFS vs. LDAP
Adaptive Authentication – Adaptive authentication refers to authentication policies that are triggered based on device, user, or location context. Authentication requirements may be determined by static parameters, such as the type of user, their current location, type of device, and so on.
It may also be determined using dynamic parameters, in which the system continually analyzes access patterns, and adjusts authentication policies accordingly. For example, a user who only ever logs in from a single location may be blocked if they attempt to log in from a different location.
Further Resources: Okta Adaptive Multi-factor Authentication in Action
Adaptive Multi-Factor Authentication – Adaptive authentication is all about dynamically adjusting login parameters based on unique scenarios. One of the parameters that adaptive authentication can adjust is the requirement for an additional factor of authentication, or step-up authentication. For example, if the system detects an unusual access pattern, it challenges the user for an additional authentication factor (e.g. a code sent via SMS) to establish identity assurance rather than blocking the user altogether.
Further Resources: Learn About Adaptive Multi-factor Authentication
API Access Management – Application programming interfaces (APIs) have unique authentication challenges because the user is typically another software system rather than a person. Okta’s API Access Management system provides functionality to assist with this challenge by ensuring that API services are well-integrated with the rest of the user management system.
Further Resources: API Access Management Demo
API Access Management Product Page
Securing Digital Business with API Access Management
Application Network – The current trend of moving away from monolithic enterprise IT systems toward a system of of smaller applications from multiple vendors, which are integrated using open APIs and standards. This allows vendors to focus on a specialized niche, and enterprise customers to have more flexibility in choosing their functionality à la carte.
Further Resources: Getting Started Guide: Okta Integration Network
Attack Surface – The sum total of an enterprise’s abstract “surface area” that can be targeted by attackers. Bugs, vulnerabilities, and insecure policies can all comprise part of the attack surface. The goal of strong identity access management is to limit the attack surface to reduce overall risk through security best practices such as automated user provisioning and deprovisioning, patching, and least privileged access control.
Further Resources: Solution Brief: Protect Against Data Breaches
Authentication – The process of determining that the party with which you are communicating is indeed who they claim to be. In other words, the process of determining a user’s identity.
Further Resources: Authentication: Achieve scale and security with innovative authentication solutions for your team
Security Starts with Authentication
The Okta Authentication Guide
Authentication Factors – This refers to three mutually reinforcing categories of authentication schemes:
1. Something you are (e.g. your retina, thumbprint, voice characteristics)
2. Something you have (e.g. a specific device, a fob)
3. Something you know (e.g. a password, a secret code)
Further Resources: Demo: Multi-factor Authentication
MFA for Your Apps
Authorization – The process of determining whether a given identity is allowed to access a given resource or function.
Further Resources: What is an Authorization Server?