Cloud Authentication Security (CAS), What is it?

Cloud Authentication Security (CAS) provides a single sign-on environment by integrating Google Apps, Microsoft Office 365, Facebook, and Twitter with the Adaptive Network Access Control appliances Milton Security manufactures, the EdgeWall®. When a user logs in with their Cloud account, they are immediately granted access to the network based on their identity. Not only is this simpler for employees, administrators, and guests, but it gives visibility and control to the IT Department.

Authentication without Active Directory

To access resources on a network, users require a set of credentials. Needing to remember yet another username and password can be seem like an extra burden, causing some people to reuse the same set they use for multiple other sites like social media, banking and gaming. The reuse of passwords is one of the most common mistakes people make as it compromises many networks at once when a password is leaked. Another common mistake that people make, when they’re feeling lazy about security, is to use an extremely simple username and password on both encrypted and unencrypted sites. This can also put your network in jeopardy.

So, what can be done to help alleviate this stress from your employees and administrators when you are not using an enterprise level authentication method like Active Directory? Utilize an existing form of authentication via cloud services, such as Google Apps, Microsoft Office 365, Facebook, or Twitter. The user’s cloud based login can now gain them secure access to local resources on the network, without the stress of yet another username and password to remember. Traditionally there have been some difficult challenges with this concept. For instance, how do you use an external login like Cloud authentication to gain access to local resources? Knowing exactly who is on your network becomes more difficult when the authentication happens in the cloud and not on your network. What is needed is a link, something to tie the Cloud Authentication with the internal identity of each device and user. Luckily CAS is the solution.

Tying Cloud and Local Authentication With Inline Security

The CAS integrates with cloud services such as Google Apps and uses the OAuth 2.0 protocol to tie your local identity on the device with your Cloud based login. When users login with Google Apps, including support for two factor authenticator, the CAS system is then able to determine the OU of the user, if applicable, and instruct the EdgeWall® security appliance to grant appropriate network access.

So what exactly is required for this level of control over your authentication? The Milton Security Group CAS solution works in tandem with the Milton Security Group's Inline security appliances to provide a seamless environment with Google Apps, Microsoft Office 365, Facebook, and Twitter. When combined with other features offered on the Milton Security's EdgeWall® (bandwidth throttling, user access levels, OS compliance (patch, updates, version type) etc.), the overall access level of every person that is connected to your network is highly controlled.

Two Factor Authentication

Any passwords or username, no matter how complex, can be cracked. The benefit of a two-factor authentication is that even if someone has your login information, they still need that second piece of the puzzle. This piece is either something you have (a random security code), or something you are (thumbprint, retina scan etc.). Built right into many Cloud Services is the ability to utilize Two Factor Authentication, it just needs to be turned on. While this will give you Two factor Authentication on Chrome devices and to Google Apps, it does little for Windows devices on your network. Now CAS gives you the ability to harness the power of Two Factor Authentication Systems.