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Meet Airlock: A solution for seamless MFA implementation

September 24, 2020
Airlock - MFA implementation

Tired of slow rollouts, never-ending security reports, and poor user adoption? With Airlock, you can rest assured that your MFA security program is followed by every user, every time.

By John Babbidge

If you’re a CISO, you understand the necessity of two dueling forces: leveling up security, while ensuring that operations keep running smoothly. It can be difficult to achieve both simultaneously. You can’t compromise on security, but many solutions that bolster your IT infrastructure, are difficult, disruptive, and labor intensive to implement.

Even if you find a security solution that implements seamlessly, there’s an often overlooked issue that can compromise your system. Instituting new security programs—particularly when it comes to identity security—ultimately relies on the end user consistently adhering to the new policies. And while you can have an incredibly robust security solution, it only takes one instance of circumventing controls to expose your company to a hacker.

If you’ve recently implemented a policy requiring end users to utilize multi-factor authentication (MFA) each time they log on, from each device they use, how can you be sure that occasionally, for convenience, a few users don’t bypass controls for the sake of convenience? If a credential is expired, or temporarily misplaced, how do you regain access to the system without circumventing MFA? And how long does the end user sit idly waiting for a solution or continue to use their temporary password?

Attempting to solve the problems described above can be difficult, often placing undue burdens and costs for your IT department. That’s why we created Airlock, to help you increase security policy compliance, decrease IT burdens, reliably deploy your MFA security program, and bolster end user self-sufficiency.

What does Airlock do?  

Airlock ensures that users take a desired action or follow a certain policy before logging into your full system. You set the policies to be followed, and users are required to do so without the need for intervention or supervision from your IT team. For instance, if a user attempts to log into your system with a password, they’ll be taken to Axiad’s Self Help Portal, where they are required to provision an MFA credential before accessing your corporate systems. Here’s how it works:

  1. A user attempts to login to the system.

  2. If they do so following your company’s preset security procedures (e.g., MFA), they gain full access.

  3. If the user didn’t follow security policies, they’re directed to take specific actions or satisfy a directive in Axiad’s Self Help Portal.

  4. Once the user has taken the desired action, they gain access to their desktop environment and your company systems.

For contractors working with the federal agencies and Department of Defense (DOD), assuring end users are following mandates is an essential matter of compliance. Trusting that everyone is following every directive isn’t an option when you’re working on government contracts. With the enhanced compliance standards rolling out in the new Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC), this is more essential than ever. Many companies will now have to pass third party audits showing that they have best practice MFA procedures in place to bid on contracts.

For the private sector, it might not be a matter of compliance, but Airlock is an important component in getting your entire staff to adopt a critical security rollout.

You can configure Airlock to drive user engagement with a variety of other actions prior to gaining access to your system. If you’ve recently instituted new policies, you can require anyone logging in to do so before they gain full access. Once a desired action has been taken, Airlock may run unseen in the background, simply ensuring that protocols are being followed without workflow disruption. This eliminates the necessity of security reports on end user policy adoption, as you’re assured that any user accessing the system has taken the desired actions before Airlock let’s them into the full system.

Users gain the added benefit of being able to solve login issues without the need to contact IT and wait for help. This is incredibly important for companies with remote workforces; remote employees often spend hours waiting for an IT solution when they’re locked out of the system. But with Airlock, users attempting to gain access with lower grade or emergency credentials are directed to the Self Help Portal, where they resolve the issue on their own, leading to less downtime and increased productivity.

Adaptable to your needs & infrastructure

Like all Axiad solutions, Airlock plugs right into your existing IAM infrastructure, making adoption simple. Whether you rely on TPMs, mobile credentials, or security tokens, implementing Airlock is simple, user-friendly, and fast.

Your IT team has the ability to customize a variety of settings based on your company’s security needs, which drive user interaction and access, while automating processes to take the load off IT staff. Once you’re set up, security is ensured by users, who satisfy company directives.

You can achieve comprehensive identity security and maintain compliance without complex, time-consuming solutions that force you to rely on user adoption. Airlock is our newest offering, providing a level of certainty that you won’t find anywhere else in the industry. It’s part of our suite of solutions, each built to give you the highest level of security attainable, while being easy to adopt and user friendly. When you can sit confident that your organization is secure, you’re free to focus again on what matters most, your business.

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