Tuesday, May 8, 2012

UAG Authentication Capabilities


Sometimes the subject of authentication in UAG seems to confuse people, and to lead them to the wrong conclusions. To set the record straight on a couple of issues:

Misconception #1: UAG includes robust authentication capabilities - this is a true statement, but sometimes is gets interpreted in a way that implies a presence of some sort of secure identity store within UAG. This is not the case. UAG leverages different authentication repositories and options and can temporarily hold certain identity information to support things such as single sign-on (SSO), but is not a repository in itself. Here's a list of repositories and options supported out of the box (OOB):    


Options such as "WINHTTP" and "Other" allow for new methods to be implemented to extend the OOB functionality (see a great example here). 

Misconception #2: UAG supports multi-factor authentication, including bio-metrics, hardware and software tokens, one time passwords (OTP), etc. - once again, this is a true statement, but supports does not mean includes. You would need a solution that implements said capabilities (bio-metrics, OTP, etc.) and integrates with UAG.


Luckily, UAG is a highly extensible products and integration is its strong suite. You would find plenty of great, ready to use solutions in both software only or appliance formats or you could opt to implement your own unique scheme. Furthermore, for your convenience many of the appliance based solutions include both the UAG itself + those strong authentication extensions, all integrated and ready to go. Here's a quick sample of what's available:
  • Winfrasoft UAG Appliance with PINsafe, link
  • PORTSYS UAG Applicance with SafeLogin, link
  • Clestix WSA UAG and HOTpin Appliances, link 
  • Deepnet Security DualShield Unified Authentication Platform, link 
  • PointSharp ID Unified Authentication, link
  • Gemalto SA Server, link
  • nGSA Gemalto Appliance, link
So, one might ask - "What does UAG do?" Well, first of all - it is pretty busy being scalable, secure, remote access solution that supports granular access control and provides robust support for different authentication repositories and options. And then - it is the remote access platform that put's it all together (multiple repositories, advanced authentication options, single sign-on, etc.)

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