Two-factor authentication, or 2FA, is not something new. It has existed for quite some time and in different forms. What is a ‘factor’? A factor is something you have, something you know, or something you are. For example, if we combine a PIN that you know, with your fingerprint, we get a 2FA based on biometrics. In practice, biometric solutions are not often used because it’s not especially difficult to steal someone’s fingerprint (…and it is quite hard to revoke or replace your finger). The more practical approach to two-factor authentication is to combine something you know, a PIN or password, with something you have.
Something you have often comes in form of
Continue reading “Identity Management and Two-Factor Authentication Using One-Time Passwords”
Identity Management (IdM) in Red Hat Enterprise Linux includes an optional Certificate Authority (CA) component. This CA is the same CA included with the Red Hat Certificate System (RHCS). If they’re the same, what is the relationship between IdM and RHCS? Is there a secret plan to replace one with another? This post reviews some of the details associated with each of the offerings and explores different use cases – indicating where you might choose to use one solution over the other.
Continue reading “Identity Management and Certificates”
In the identity management server space Red Hat has two offerings: Identity Management (IdM) in Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat Directory Server (RHDS). This article is dedicated to helping you understand why there are two solutions and how to chose the best one for your environment.
Before diving in too deep
Continue reading “Identity Management or Red Hat Directory Server – Which One Should I Use?”
In my last post I reviewed some of my observations from the RSA Security Conference. As mentioned, I enjoyed the opportunity to speak with conference attendees about Red Hat’s Identity Management (IdM) offerings. That said, I was quick to note that whether I’m out-and-about staffing an event or “back home” answering e-mails – one of the most frequently asked questions I receive goes something like this: “…I’m roughly familiar with both direct and indirect integration options… and I’ve read some of the respective ‘pros’ and ‘cons’… but I’m still not sure which approach to use… what should I do?” If you’ve ever asked a similar question – I have some good news – today’s post will help you to determine which option aligns best with your current (and future) needs.
Continue reading “Direct, or Indirect, that is the Question…”
As many specialists in the security world know – the RSA Security Conference is one of the biggest security conferences in North America. This year it was once again held in San Francisco at the Moscone Center. Every year the conference gets bigger and bigger, bringing in more and more people and companies from all over the world.
If you attended – you may have noticed that Red Hat had a booth this year. Located in the corner of the main expo floor (not far from some of the “big guys” like: IBM, Microsoft, EMC, CA Technologies, and Oracle) we were in a great location – receiving no shortage of traffic. In fact, despite staffing the booth with six Red Hatters we didn’t have any “down time” – everyone seemed to be interested in what Red Hat has to offer in security.
Over the course of the conference I made a few interesting observations…
Continue reading “RSA Security Conference 2015 in Review: Three Observations”
In a previous post, I compared the features and capabilities of Samba winbind and SSSD. In this post, I will focus on formulating a set of criteria for how to choose between SSSD and winbind. In general, my recommendation is to choose SSSD… but there are some notable exceptions.
Continue reading “SSSD vs Winbind”
Given the recent general availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1 – this post is dedicated to reviewing what’s new in the world of IdM.
Table of Contents
Continue reading “Ten New Identity Management (IdM) Features in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1”
This post is dedicated to the new SSSD features in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1 that have significance when SSSD is used by itself (i.e. without IdM integration) – for example, when connecting directly to Active Directory (AD) or some other Directory Server.
Control Access to Linux Machines with Active Directory GPO
A common use case for managing computer-based access control in an Active Directory environment is through the use of GPO policy settings related to Windows Logon Rights. The Administrator who maintains a heterogeneous AD and Red Hat Enterprise Linux network without an IdM server has traditionally had to face the challenging task of centrally controlling access to the Linux machines without being able to update the SSSD configuration on each and every client machine.
In Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1, the Administrator is (now) able to
Continue reading “New SSSD Features in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1”
As this is my sixth post on Identity Management I thought it would (first) be wise to explain (and link back to) my previous efforts. My first post kicked off the series by outlining challenges associated with interoperability in the modern enterprise. My second post explored how the integration gap between Linux systems and Active Directory emerged, how it was formerly addressed, and what options are available now. My third post outlined the set of criteria with which one is able to examine various integration options. And my most recent entries, post four and five, reviewed options for direct and indirect integration, respectively.
Delving deeper into the world of indirect integration (i.e. utilizing a trust-based approach) – two of the biggest questions are often: “Where are my users?” and “Where does authentication actually happen?” As opposed to a solution that relies upon synchronization
Continue reading “Active Directory and Identity Management (IdM) Trusts – Exactly Where Are My Users?”
The main alternative to direct integration of Linux/UNIX systems into Active Directory (AD) environments is the indirect approach – where Linux systems are first connected to a central server and this server is then somehow connected to AD. This approach is not new. Over the years many environments have deployed LDAP servers to manage their Linux/UNIX systems (using this LDAP server) while users were stored in AD. To reconcile this issue and to enable users from AD to access Linux systems – users and their passwords were routinely synchronized from AD. While this approach is viable – it’s also quite limited and prone to error. In addition, there is little value in having a separate LDAP server. The only reason for such a setup is to have a separation of duties between Linux and Windows administrators. The net result is that the overhead is quite high while the value of such an approach is quite low.
When IdM (Identity Management in Red Hat Enterprise Linux based on FreeIPA technology) emerged, many environments were either considering direct integration or were “in-process” with respect to adoption. How, exactly, does IdM work? IdM provides
Continue reading “Overview of Indirect Active Directory Integration Using Identity Management (IdM)”