When your business uses more devices than you can keep track of, has tons of users on your network, and you need to know that every bit of your information is always secure, then you need top-of-the-line security services offered by Be Structured. In cases like these, we recommend Duo. It is a multi-factor authentication (MFA) solution that managed service providers love to talk about and implement. Here at Be Structured Technology Group, we make sure that the protection we suggest matches your needs. For larger businesses with a lot of moving parts and variables, it is important to make sure you have protection everywhere. That is where Duo excels.
How Duo Uses Two-Factor / Multi Factor Authentication (2FA and MFA)
When someone logs into an account, they typically use a password. However, passwords can be shared, lost, forgotten, or stolen. In order to keep accounts safe, a second way to verify the identity of a person is imperative. This is called two-factor authentication (2FA). It is when a second device, such as a smartphone, is used to make sure the person logging in is who they claim to be. Duo uses two factors to ensure that anyone logging into a secure network is allowed to be there and not trying to access secure information. By using two-factor authentication (2FA), your company gets an additional layer of protection for all online accounts, including any information saved in the cloud.
Two-Factor authentication (2FA) works by allowing the person to start the login process with his or her username, followed by the password. From there, the individual will have to log into another chosen device, like their phone. It will require that secondary password, fingerprint scan, or face scan to verify it is them. This will be even safer since the device will already have been verified by Duo for use on the network, thus creating yet another layer of protection.
The Basics of Duo
If you need to make sure that you can keep a lot of different people, devices, and bits of information safe, then you need to start from a position where you have zero trust. This means you trust no data to be safe on its own and require your extensive data protection to be all-encompassing. That is precisely what you get with Duo. Duo literally makes it possible for a user’s username and password to be compromised by an outside threat and still cannot allow access to resources because that outside threat does not have access to the second factor (2FA) of authentication. With Duo this is normally a phone or tablet, but can also be a hardware device.
When Duo was founded back in 2009, creators Dug Song and Jon Oberheide wanted to create something that would stand up to even the toughest of outside attacks. The goal was to create two sides to an authentication process that would match when right, but would be mismatched to a hacker or a threat. That is why their two-factor authentication is asymmetrical. In 2018, Duo was acquired by Cisco and was integrated into various Cisco IT solutions, such as Umbrella, ASA VPN, and WebEx. This allows for authentication to work together to create a cohesive opening for matching credentials while remaining safe, even when someone is trying to push their way in. The process is so unique that many large corporations use it. A few names you may recognize include:
Duo Scalable Protection
Duo works with all sizes of organizations to help scale their protection. Whether you need to cover a small business or a large enterprise, Duo has the scalability to keep all of your sensitive data safe. They have steps in place to help companies go from vulnerable to protected. Here are some of those steps:
Duo Individual Verification
The first step in the journey to having everything protected is verifying each person who should be in the network. This provides an effective way to know who should be accessing information and who should not.
Duo Device Verification
Next, Duo will go through and access each device that is allowed within the network. This includes personal devices, corporate-managed devices, smartphones, computers, and any other device your company requires that would need access to your networks.
Duo Real-Time Access
The next step is checking each device in real-time. This allows Duo to check the trustworthiness and security of each device as it is being used. As each device is checked, it can also be scanned to make sure there are no problematic applications on it.
Duo Design Limits
Once each device is checked, limitations are able to be specified for each device and user. This tells the network what each user and device are able to access to minimize the chances of any type of security breach.
Duo Establishes Connections
Finally, Duo will help to grant secure connections from the protected user and device to the information and network that Duo is protecting. This works both for cloud applications and on-site networks.
Duo Enrollment is Simple
If you have a smartphone, then you can get the entire Duo system set up over the phone, a one-time code that is sent to the phone, an SMS text, or through Duo Mobile Smartphone app. That way, you can manage which employees and customers have access to what types of information. The Duo Mobile Smartphone app is available for Windows phones, iPhone operating systems, and Android phones.
In the instance that no mobile phone is available, a tablet or landline is also an option. For cases where these devices are not possible, a hardware token, such as our preferred hardware token vendor Yubikey, is also available. People can link as many devices as they want or need to their personal accounts, allowing for both landlines and smartphones to be connected as an example.
As time goes on, more threats to passwords are going to be found. Between cyber terrorists, malware, and hackers trying to break through traditional passwords, another method is necessary to ensure the greatest levels of safety possible for your business. That is why two-factor authentication (2FA) is a core part of how Duo operates. Since you have two ways of ensuring you are the one logging into the network, if someone discovers your password, you still have the second method of verification open.
If you enroll in Duo Push, you will receive an immediate alert if anyone tries to log in under your username or password. The authentication used by Duo is totally independent from the username and password you set up with the initial verification process. More often than not, 2FA and MFA solutions are considered more of an inconvenience and an annoyance for many users. Duo Push makes that inconvenience a thing of the past. The fact that you can pair it with your Apple Watch, makes it even more convenient and user friendly. Since the Apple Watch provides haptic feedback, the moment you receive an alert, it’s like a little cybersecurity guardian angel is tapping you on the wrist to get your attention.
How Does Duo Help Businesses?
Many people ask, what makes Duo so secure and what differentiates it when it comes to businesses? The answer is the Duo Push authentication process that it provides. This user-friendly experience is ultra-secure, making you sure that the only person who logs in under your account, is you. The push authentication does not occur over traditional forms of transport. Instead, it occurs from a mutually authenticated transport that is secure on both ends. It also works to protect against top-of-the-line attacks where even the most sophisticated hackers are trying to steal personal credentials or information. The connection pairs the requests asymmetrically, allowing there to be protected on both ends. If the information does not match on both ends, the request is flagged, and administrators are immediately notified.
A TLS transport is used to help protect the confidentiality of the parties making a connection. However, the integrity of the transactions created from Duo Push don’t rely on the TLS. Instead, Duo uses asymmetric signature schemes to provide authenticity on a message level, plus the integrity that comes with using the top of the transport channels. That way, even if someone were to try to attack the TLS to get the information, Duo Push is able to remain un-compromised since the approvals for the transaction are unable to be forged.
Duo Provides Compliance and Security While Remaining Affordable and Agile
As a trusted Managed Service Provider, when Be Structured rolls out Duo at your company, you can trust that your organization gets the benefit of compliance along with increased security. The information shared with each user and device establishes a level of compliance that helps give you peace of mind, plus, your security is increased, protecting both your business and your clients.
The experience your users get when using Duo is also improved. This is because using Duo is simple compared to many other 2FA and MFA solutions. It was created in a way that made it easy for users to install and manage. The functionality of Duo is similar no matter what size the business is.
On top of being compliant and secure, Duo is also affordable. It is made so that any business can use it, whether there are a handful of employees or people working for the company around the world. Since they have a lower investment to get started, it allows the company to better manage their overhead.
The big buzzword for business today is agility. If your business is not agile, you are not going to be able to grow to your fullest potential, according to many professionals. Thankfully, Duo allows for you to remain agile and modern with your security while still evolving to meet the needs of your entire company.
How Duo Works
The information that makes Duo as powerful and secure as it is, is all cloud-based. This keeps the wrong hands from getting the information to cause any type of problem with the program. An individuals’ private key is held by the device that was authenticated while enrolling in Duo, whereas the public key is hidden within the cloud. That way, the two keys are separated and able to remain safe from outside intrusions.
How Duo works is pretty straightforward. First, an individual will go and log into a network or website. Next, the individual will be tasked with inputting the username followed by the password to get into the account or service. From there, Duo will send an authentication to an item that the user would have, such as the smartphone. If the two pieces of information match, then the user is granted access. If the two pieces of information do not match, the user is not allowed access, an alert is sent out to administrators and the login attempt is thwarted.
Duo allows users to authenticate a login attempt with one-tap (Duo Push), so long as they are logged into the device that is used for the authentication process. If it is a temporary device, a one-time passcode is generated and sent along so the individual can still have access to the required information for that session. Duo can also instigate a call to any phone, whether mobile or landline, allowing for an in-person authentication. Hardware tokens can also be used to authenticate individuals who do not have access to the same devices on a regular basis.
Are Two-Factor Authentications (2FA) Vulnerable?
As a business owner, you want to make sure that your information is safe and not at risk of being stolen from an outside source. However, if you worry about the vulnerabilities with some two-factor authentication programs, you may worry that Duo is not right for you.
While it is true that some two-factor authentication (2FA) programs, such as those through some Android apps, are vulnerable, Duo Push is not. There are several ways that two-factor authentication (2FA) can be performed. For example, most people are familiar with this process thanks to mobile banking services. Users must login and then scan a fingerprint or something similar to have access to their financial information. This is just one type of authentication.
In the instance of Duo Push, instead of having one line of communication, the authenticator uses two. The signals being sent along the top of the transport channel must match the login security to create a successful login. Duo Security, Inc. is one of the few vendors that is even able to provide this type of asymmetry. This is what makes it so much less vulnerable than any other type of service on the market.
Let Be Structured Technology Group, Inc. Help You with Duo Enrollment
When it comes to making sure that every individual, service, and device in your company is safe, as is all of your personal and customer information, you cannot go wrong with Duo. It allows you to set up who has access to what information, and it tells you immediately if there is any type of breach of security. Your employees and customers will know their dealings with you are safe, plus you get to be fully compliant on how you protect your information. You have nothing to lose with a fully scalable service that keeps your information out of the hands of all types of attackers. Contact Be Structured Technology Group and let us get your business started with the process of Duo enrollment today.