Static Passwords Alone, Are A Thing of the Past. Gone are the days where a username and password alone are secure enough for an organizations sensitive data.Static passwords can easily be cracked or stolen, leaving your sensitive information vulnerable to hackers or unauthorized users. The worst part about that is you don’t even know that a password has been compromised until it’s too late. Vulnerabilities can even create headaches for managers as the weak authentication can leave users unaccountable for their actions. Another issue with static passwords is, let’s be honest, it’s hard to remember all the different passwords you have for all of the different accounts that you need to access. Forgotten passwords create not only a hassle for you, but also a lot of extra time wasted by your helpdesk or IT department that should be spent on more important issues.
Enter Time-Based One-Time Password (TOTP)
In order to ensure a secure environment for your sensitive data, you need multiple layers of security in place including multi-factor authentication. One common form of two-factor authentication, Time-based One-Time Password (TOTP), is an algorithm that generates a one-time password based on a shared secret key and current time stamp that is the foundation of OATH and commonly used for cloud applications. Time-based one-time passwords are appealing because they provide a higher level of security, requiring a traditional static password and a TOTP which changes every 30 to 60 seconds, making it extremely resistant to attacks and security breaches.
Before the age of smart phones, TOTP services were most commonly used through SMS alone which shared the one-time password via text or other messaging services. Though more secure than static passwords, SMS based TOTP eventually rendered itself vulnerable to attack as well. With the growing popularity and capabilities of mobile devices, TOTP services are now more protected than ever when offered through a secure online application.
Challenges with TOTP
Although, TOTP is one of the strongest forms of authentication out there, there are still a few key challenges for an enterprise looking to deploy this type of service. One of the biggest challenges with deploying a TOTP solution is that it can be extremely costly and time consuming. For example, most providers charge a per user, per device monthly fee which can get outrageously expensive for enterprises today especially with the growing number of virtual offices and mobile devices. On top of that, when TOTP is offered as a stand-alone solution it can be hard to integrate with existing systems and extremely time consuming to manage.
The solution to common challenges with TOTP, The Optimal TOTP service is now available through The OptimalCloud which is a comprehensive cloud federation and single sign-on solution. The solution includes granular administrative control, SMS for non-smartphone users and email options in addition to the TOTP functionality which is all available for an affordable flat monthly fee. The Optimal TOTP service works with any TOTP compliant authentication application including those available from Google, Microsoft, and Optimal IdM’s very own, “Optimal Authenticator” which is available to download for free in app stores. The Optimal Authenticator works for all Android, Windows and IOS operating systems.
In conclusion, if the security of your organization’s sensitive data is important to you, do yourself a favor and check out a Time-Based One-Time password (TOTP) service.