Why is an IdP important for your organisation? 

An IdP (identity provider) is a third-party software that verifies user identities. It manages all your digital identities and works through SSO providers for authenticating the end users. After getting consent from the users, the IdP provides authentication services to third-party apps and websites. It helps access to third-party service providers without actually sharing the login details of the end user. 

In addition to being used to identify human users, identity providers can also be used to verify the identities of other entities connected to a system or network. These entities can include computers or any other device that connects to a system. Identity providers are often useful for managing user identities in cloud computing environments, making them an essential tool for businesses that use cloud computing.

Top tips to protect your IdP  

Paul king, Overt Software’s Shibboleth operation manager, has provided solutions to institutions, education facility and organisations, for over seven years. Today's post will focus on specific ways in which a security-first defense strategy can help organisations better protect their data, users and customers by layering Identity Security controls over baseline IdP deployments.  

Read the whole video transcript to learn our Shibboleth operation manager’s top tips to help you give your IdP extra protection.  

Get updates and stay updated to the latest IdP version. 

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It is important for businesses to solve any issues that arise, as it helps them understand how and where things went wrong. An IdP helps identify who was online and what resources they were accessing. That way, it becomes easier for businesses to solve problems and eliminate any threats. 

Utilizing Multi Factor Authentication 

An in-depth defense approach to authentication rewards multifactor authentication (MFA). It begins with a login process that requires two different authentication methods for entry: a password and a One-time-password (OTP). 

When users need to access sensitive resources that allows them to modify system configurations, change user account settings, or view secure data, they should take additional steps to verify their identity. By taking these additional steps, you can ensure that your users are genuine before being allowed access to these sensitive resources. 

Make sure your domain controller Certificate is updated 

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Domain controllers control access to domain networks. They block unauthorized access, allowing users access to all authorized directory services. Domains are a hierarchical way of organising users and computers that work together on the same network, so if you want to access resources (such as files or printers) shared among those people, you need to have access rights on the domain.  

The domain controller keeps all of that data organised and secured. It mediates all network traffic, so it is important to protect it with additional security mechanisms such as secured and isolated networks, security protocols, encryption of stored data and data in flight, and firewalls. 

Auditing web application sessions prior the holiday season to detect and prevent high-risk behaviour 

Employees' misuse or abuse of web applications is a growing concern for many organisations. As most essential data has now migrated to the cloud, you can take a defensive approach by implementing security measures. 

By extending existing Single Sign-On capabilities, such as time-based login and session recording, you can minimise the risk of malicious activity. For example, you can enforce global time-outs to avoid situations where a user steps away from a device during a session. In addition, you can effortlessly search for and audit actions without impacting the user experience. It is also possible for organisations to implement further protection on sensitive data residing in applications by restricting data exfiltration actions such as copying data and downloading files, application permissions, or banning individual users based on specific needs and requirements. 

It is very important to get your SSL certificate updated before the holiday season.  

An SSL certificate is a digital website certificate that authenticates and facilitates an encrypted connection of a website identity. Internet connections are far more complicated than most people realise. They route through dozens of points on their way to their destination. If the connection isn't encrypted, data that passes through all of those points will be sent in plaintext. As you can imagine, that's problematic if you're transmitting sensitive information. SSL certificates create an encrypted link between a website server and a browser and authenticate a website's identity, enabling websites to use HTTPS, which means that the connections they make are encrypted. Also known as in-transit encryption.  

The letters "SSL" stand for Secure Sockets Layer. This security protocol protects online transactions and customer information by keeping the data exchanged between the website and the browser safe from prying eyes. 

Storing and sharing passwords for business apps, and other sensitive data 

Credential access is one of organisations' most common risk management issues. Credentials are sought to compromise identities and launch attacks, but business users often struggle to manage them independently because the risks are widely known. This results in weak or reused passwords, credentials stored in plain text files, Excel spreadsheets or browsers, or the use of disparate password managers that limit security's visibility and control. 

By deploying a vault-based storage system and making it accessible via passwordless authentication. Employees can securely access and share valuable data with other users using an MFA QR code. They can also add encryption keys, passwords, and additional essential data information to the vault. 

Use the Overt IdP dashboard to check your IdP's health in time for Christmas.  

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The dashboard gives you the ability to create powerful reports to answer all of your questions about access. You can build a report by applying multiple filters. And not just that, the dashboard gives you the tools to comply with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) quickly and easily. If a user requires an export of information that you currently hold on them, simply type in their username and press "export data." You are also able to see what personal identifiable information (PII) you are sending to resources by using the resource reports function. 

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Happy Chinese New Year 2023!

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