Network authentication techniques

Network authentication techniques

How do you balance security and risk in your daily life? Are you living a 100% secure life? Do you take a lot of risks?

It's unlikely to be one extreme or the other it'll probably be some sort of balance between the two – actually life without risk is impossible, and cyber security is no different. Information assurance always has to weigh risk reduction against user access. Trying to reduce risk to zero is impractical but obviously too little security will lead to organisational damage, so you must always search for the best balance you can find. 

A good example of harmonising security with ease of user access is single sign-on (SSO) 

An example of this protocol is when a user logs into a PC and access is provided to network, file servers, email and intranet related to their login and password with a single login. The Google suite is an instance of this: user signs into Gmail, and the Google Identity Provider gives the user's machine a cookie which is also accepted by YouTube and other Google-related apps. With this system, the user doesn't need to login a second time to access those sites, as the cookie is accepted by all the affiliated sites. 

Common SSO technologies: include Kerberos, RADIUS, and TACACS+. Kerberos is used by Microsoft's active directory. Once a user accesses a resource Kerberos determines whether they're allowed in or not. RADIUS is used for network access and TACACS+, used for device administration. 

With the SSO system, username and password is required for login – however smartcards and tokens can be incorporated, if required. 

The true aim is an effective, efficient yet secure system whereby the user only needs to log in once. This saves time and resources while still maintaining a high level of security.


In this course you’ll take a deep dive into networks and communications controls, looking at Firewalls, DMZ and VPN among others.

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