Security - Multi-Factor Authentication

There’s no doubt that Multi-Factor Authentication is a hot topic and an excellent way to improve secure access to your infrastructure. Remote access to your RMM and PSA tools, as well as the RDP Gateway will benefit from using MFA. But what about access when you are in the office – do you need MFA

Since you are already in a protected environment (you lock your doors and have a firewall and other logical and physical security – right?), you don’t need to require MFA. Most MFA solutions provide one or more methods of “whitelisting”. Which method you choose will make the difference between being secure and not…

User Whitelisting

User whitelisting is used for application accounts that would not be accessed externally, or support accounts that need to be used by external support teams. You would never whitelist your employees! Unfortunately, we see this configuration all too often. When we point it out, the response is typically “yes, but we trust our team!”

Sure – you can trust your employee, but you can’t trust their credentials! That’s the distinction that MFA makes. If an employee’s credentials are compromised, any bad actor can try to log in. If their account is whitelisted, there would be no Multi-Factor authentication and access would be granted!

Network Whitelisting

Network whitelisting identifies the internal network range(s) that you trust – typically the office network public addresses. In most situations, this would be the public IP address assigned to your external firewall (or firewalls if you have redundant Internet connections). This is the preferred way to allow your techs to work without MFA when in the office, but require it when they are at home, customer sites, or otherwise outside of the office.

MSP Builder Tools

Many of the MSP Builder tools utilize the VSA APIs to perform their tasks. While these tools use the API to authenticate over an SSL connection, there are some processes that we follow to improve the security of these tools. As each tool runs, it requests an authorization token to do its work by authenticating to VSA. The tasks that the tools perform take anywhere from a few milliseconds to about 3 seconds to complete. Once the task completes, the tool closes the session, invalidating the authorization token.

Another level of security that we use is MSP Builder License Authorization. All tools that utilize the APIs must first authenticate to the MSP Builder licensing server. This authorization is such that it is extremely difficult (if not impossible) to circumvent, requiring multiple data parts to complete a license validation. In a sense, this is a form of MFA for the tools that utilize the Kaseya APIs. Our API account does not require the password to be distributed to the systems that use it, and is designed to be changed on a 24-hour cycle, increasing the difficulty of a brute-force attack.

Summary

Multi-Factor Authentication is an excellent method to improve the security and integrity of your environment, but it requires careful and correct configuration. Incorrect settings will negate the security you’re trying to deploy, so take your time, double and triple-check your configuration, and use whitelisting options properly!

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