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Theories of Security Management Discussion

Theories of Security Management Discussion


Designing an effective authentication process for securing sensitive customer data is a critical aspect of ensuring data security. In this scenario, we will consider implementing multifactor authentication (MFA) for both employee and customer access to the company’s intranet. The three primary factors of authentication, which are “something you know,” “something you have,” and “something you are,” will be incorporated into the authentication process.

Authentication Process for Employees:

  1. Something You Know (Knowledge Factor): Employees will be required to enter a username and a strong, complex password as the first authentication factor. These credentials should be unique to each user and meet strong password requirements (e.g., length, complexity, expiration policies).
  2. Something You Have (Possession Factor): The second authentication factor will involve the use of a hardware token, such as a smart card or a hardware security token (like a YubiKey). Employees will be provided with these devices, and they will need to insert or authenticate the token during login.
  3. Something You Are (Biometric Factor): For the third factor, employees will need to provide a biometric identifier, such as a fingerprint scan or facial recognition, using a biometric reader connected to their workstation.
  4. Contextual Authentication (Optional): To further enhance security, contextual factors like the location, time of access, and device used can be taken into account. Unusual access patterns might trigger additional authentication steps or alerts.
  5. Single Sign-On (SSO): Implementing SSO with a strong initial authentication process can be considered to streamline access to various company resources after the initial login.

Authentication Process for Customers:

Customer access to sensitive data should be secure but also user-friendly. In this case, the authentication process may differ slightly from that of employees, considering the external nature of customer access:

  1. Something You Know (Knowledge Factor): Customers will be required to create a username and password when registering for access to the company’s intranet. These credentials should also meet strong password requirements.
  2. Something You Have (Possession Factor): Similar to employees, customers can be encouraged to use hardware tokens or mobile authentication apps (e.g., Google Authenticator) for the second authentication factor. They can associate their mobile devices with their accounts during registration.
  3. Adaptive Authentication (Risk-Based): To strike a balance between security and user experience, an adaptive authentication system can be employed. It analyzes various factors like user behavior, device, and location to determine the level of authentication required. Low-risk activities might require only a username and password, while high-risk activities trigger the use of a possession factor (e.g., mobile app token).
  4. Multi-Channel Authentication (Optional): For particularly sensitive transactions, consider sending a one-time password (OTP) to the customer’s registered email or mobile number, adding an additional layer of authentication.
  5. User-Friendly Recovery Options: Customers should have user-friendly methods to recover their accounts, such as email or SMS-based account recovery, but these methods should also be secure.

It’s important to note that the level of authentication required may vary depending on the sensitivity of the data or the specific actions being performed within the intranet. Implementing MFA for both employees and customers significantly enhances security by combining multiple authentication factors, making unauthorized access much more difficult. However, it’s equally essential to balance security with user convenience to ensure a positive user experience. Regular security assessments and updates to the authentication process should be conducted to adapt to evolving threats and technologies.

Theories of Security Management Discussion



Week 6 | Discussion

Authentication Factors

The three primary factors of authentication are something you know, something you have, and something you are. Multifactor authentication uses more than one authentication factor and is stronger than using a single authentication factor.

You are the security professional assigned to design the authentication process for your company. The goal is to secure very sensitive customer data. Thinking about what you know about factors of authentication, provide an example of the process you would implement for users to authenticate to the company’s intranet. How might employee access differ from customer access? Be sure to fully explain your reasoning.

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