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Multi-factor authentication using RADIUS

Traditional passwords aren't enough to secure identities anymore. From the classic brute-force attack, to keyloggers, and phishing, passwords can be stolen through numerous tactics. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) mitigates the risk of credential harvesting, since a cyberattacker would need more than just a password to gain access.

Enforcing MFA for all the endpoints in an IT environment, including local, remote, cloud application, and offline logons ensures holistic protection against identity theft. This leaves no loopholes for a cyberattacker to gain initial access. In addition to enhancing security, MFA is also a key component to achieving regulatory compliance such as GDPR, HIPAA and PCI DSS, Zero Trust, and purchasing cyber insurance premiums.

What is RADIUS authentication and how it can be used for MFA

Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service (RADIUS) is a secure client-server protocol that is used to authenticate and authorize access into a network. It provides centralized authentication services to the servers that remote users use to connect to the network.

RADIUS authentication can also be used as an effective MFA technique. When it is used for MFA, the first step is to enter the username and password. A MFA prompt is triggered, after successful verification, where users must enter their unique RADIUS password.

For added protection, admins can configure RADIUS challenge. After this is enabled, users must provide a one-time verification code or secret key in addition to the RADIUS password.

Advantages of configuring RADIUS for MFA

Let's take a look at some of the benefits of leveraging RADIUS for MFA:

  • Enhanced security: RADIUS is a secure protocol that is designed to encrypt user credentials during transit. This mitigates the risks of snooping and interceptions in a network.
  • Save on IT costs: Since many organizations have an existing RADIUS infrastructure for various authentication purposes, they can leverage the same for MFA as well. This can optimize time and productivity for IT admins, while being cost-effective.
  • Compatibility: Since RADIUS is compatible with most hardware and software solutions, it simplifies integration for IT admins.
  • Improve user experience: Users don't have to familiarize themselves with a new MFA technique because many organizations already employ RADIUS authentication. Using RADIUS for MFA can simplify user experience and provide consistent authentication mechanisms for users.

Steps to configure RADIUS authentication with ADSelfService Plus

ADSelfService Plus is an identity security solution with MFA, SSO, and self-service password reset capabilities. It helps you secure access to workstations (Windows, Linux, and Mac), servers, RDP, UAC, cloud applications, and more using RADIUS as an MFA option.

Here are the steps involved:

  1. Login to the ADSelfService Plus admin console.
  2. Click Configuration > Multi-factor authentication.
  3. Click RADIUS authentication.
  4. Enter the Server Name, Server Port, Server Protocol, Secret Key, Username Pattern, and Request Time Out in seconds.
  5. Click Save.

Using RADIUS for multi-factor authentication

Secure user identities with RADIUS authentication

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