Friday, April 20, 2018

OneLogin (Guest Post)

The Ever-Increasing Security Concerns of Today

Many people don't know it yet, but IT managers are dealing with an unbelievable amount of stress behind the scenes. Microsoft, Apple and other major software companies are pressing down on universities, medical centers and other sensitive data hot spots to fix what seems irrevocably broken: server support, software updates and play-nice protocols that are designed to host multifarious incoming access requests while maintaining consistent internal pressure against the hazards of the outside world. There's more going on in the security sphere than the general public is let on to and for good reason.

One of the most profound concerns that cropped up recently was when Spectre and Meltdown were discovered, which wasn't a great way to start off 2018. Rather, it might have been fine and dandy that the exploits were discovered and patched, but the wide publication of their existence created a scene everywhere that computers of literally any sort were used. It didn't matter if it was RISC, CISC, Qualcomm, Intel, AMD — everything was running on a 15-year-old architecture with a layer-zero flaw that could give an outsider potential access to the absolute bottom-most root of a system's hardware functions.

Combine that with the onslaught of major businesses being compromised and even general information-sharing policies being abused a la Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, and it seems that systematic order only has so much to offer against its own devices. This is doing no favors for keeping black-hat hackers out either; they're occurring in greater numbers than ever, and it's becoming increasingly difficult to stay the pace against them. It's an epic race to build new walls as quickly as old ones are torn down. One of the focal points for the prevention of data theft, especially in large corporations, is the implementation of single sign-on (SSO) and various multifactor authentication layers that help users stay safe.

Translating to Business Practices

Many large businesses that are entrusted with millions of clients' credit card information among other forms of sensitive data have a host of third-party contracting companies that they work with to execute, secure and back-check field work. This is because the contracting companies are often better equipped to deal with field situations, making them a more efficient solution than hiring employees directly to the manufacturer and dispatching them with a system that hasn't been developed.

As such, a third of the manufacturers out there are working with 25 or more vendor companies to secure field execution while another 10 percent are in touch with over 200 contractors for the same purpose. There's a different merchandising and servicing company for every purpose, it seems, and larger companies are more likely to have more threads that require more unique names in contracting to handle. What makes this scarier is the fact that 90 percent of data breaches to these manufacturers yield damages in excess of $190,000 while the other 10 percent sees damages of more than $750,000 for similar reasons.

This is largely thanks to the fact that most field representatives are using their own personal desktop or pocket-sized devices to collect and relay information to a server. With so many vendor companies having different access points into the manufacturer's relay, this creates a bevy of security risks for the manufacturer and their clients.

Reducing Odds, Increasing Evens

As traditional security methods begin to falter against the increasing number of contractors that a company must rely on, it's more important than ever to trust a mediation company — yes, another third-party contractor — to stand as a barrier between the manufacturer and outside forces such as field representatives. One of the most trusted names in the provision of SSO security is OneLogin.

OneLogin creates a unified sign-in point for vendors of every walk, allowing their host companies to continue using their own personal apps for the collection and delivery of information; however, all data must pass through OneLogin's multifactor authentication system and other protocols before reaching the manufacturer's servers. This a great way to go for large businesses as the days move forward and the requirement of third-party contractors grows to meet the ever-increasing demands of quality assurance metrics and the security risks that this business model inherently poses.

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