Extending Active Directory to the Cloud

A directory service is an application that runs on a server and allows the administrator to manage permissions and access to network resources. It is a way companies can take full advantage of the Cloud and secure their online resources.

Using active directory (AD) services, a company can render the best service level and ensure security for all its information.

Directory services are commonly used in company premises and work within the organization’s internal network. They ensure that the information on the system is not accessed through unauthorized means, and all the login attempts are noted for future reference.

These services are useful in managing companies and worker identities throughout the existence of the organization.


Extending an active directory is a security service that keeps digital resources and information safe. It limits access and restricts unauthorized access.

With the service, a system administrator gets to manage permissions and access to resources on a network. All data is stored in the form of objects within Active-Directory, and it is typically installed on servers.

A cloud directory, meanwhile, is a structure that organizes directory objects into several hierarchies. These support organizational pivots and relationships across directory information.

It creates a flexible schema for directories, keeping folders organized.

It can also be scaled up to millions of objects and is considered to be very powerful.

Extending the active directory makes identity access management (IAM) an easy process for company employees whenever they are reaching online resources.

It restricts the amount of access that each user can have to a given resource based on their authority level.

Extending the AD also provides a more transparent means of securing information access for modern applications and an easier way of controlling access to the information.

Cloud directory works in a way that is not so different from the Active Directory.

The data used is the only difference. In this case, it is the multi-dimensional data.

It keeps the data organized by forming rich relationships between them. This serves as an IAM platform. It keeps large scale systems organized as an identity provider, and all the users know their position and roles.

Why is there a Need to Head Active Directory into the Cloud?

Active-directory services function effectively in the workplace and at the premises where they control information access. By moving these services to the cloud directory, the service provider’s capabilities increase, making it more reliable.

The Cloud also allows for more accurate account management, which maintains access control for information and directory services using the Cloud.

This move keeps information safe and backed up on stable and reliable platforms such as the Cloud. It also allows for a scaling up of identity services, which ensures that the cloud-based active-directory services comfortably handle an increased number of the customer.

Never compromise security
for convenience, choose both!

Why companies need an on-demand identity and access management service

Identity and access management services are necessary to secure information and other applications that employees interact with daily. The availability of an on-demand identity and access management service means that the companies can verify who is trying to access resources and what kind of permissions they have.

The on-demand identity and access management service means that companies can better handle identity anytime a user needs to log into company resources. This process verifies the credentials provided by an information system user and restricting what they get to see on the information system.

Companies will also require this service to keep track of the users and their access behavior on the system’s information. In case of changes made to the information, tracking down who was the last person that accessed the system is simple. The information systems become transparent and easier to account for thanks to readily available information and access logs.

Why there is a Need to Extend AD into the Cloud

Extending an active directory to the Cloud is a huge improvement over traditional identity and access management for information systems.

Moving to the Cloud means more flexibility for the active-directory and an increase in possible capabilities. System administrators can easily make access restrictions and sync all information.

Any change made in one of the devices or servers gets to reflect throughout the entire system. This is important towards keeping users informed about current permission levels and which directories and resources they are allowed to access.

The Cloud is also easier to manage and can be accessed from any location, meaning that system administrators now can work remotely.

They can work from the comfort of their own devices and keep information in sync. A user logging off from a remote resource gets this information synced across the entire ecosystem.

The process of extending the active directory to the Cloud also means that users have easier access to identity information. It also allows for applications to be built around the same identity and access management concept, which simplifies the employees’ work.

Such apps can be useful for syncing company information and extending the currently possible capabilities. Using the Cloud information, the apps make people more productive while simplifying their daily work processes.


  1. The active directory feature provides a centralized means of security and resource administration for any company or business. This makes the resources easier to manage, and keeping track of any changes is simple.
  2. Centralized information access. A single point for logging in to access global resources makes the applications secure and safer to use.
  3. Simple customization means that you can tweak the application to meet the data needs of your company.
  4. Remote access. Employees and system administrators can access active directory services from any computer on the network provided the correct credentials.


  1. The service is OS-dependent and only works with Windows server software
  2. It involves high maintenance costs. Setting it up incurs a lot of money.
  3. If the system stops functioning, so does the rest of the network.

The Bottomline

Active directory services are not something to ignore, especially when identity proves complicated for modern companies and organizations whose staff spreads out across the globe.

With such an identity and access management system, keeping track of information access and restricting access to certain directories becomes much simpler.

Extending these services to the Cloud makes the service access much more comfortable and organized. The users will easily keep track of information access and work remotely to manage online information systems.

Developers can also add cloud capabilities to modern web applications, which ensure that the employees work with peace of mind.


Teamstack Cloud Directory is a typical Active Directory service provider that can help businesses securely manage users and groups. Users can be easily created within the cloud directory or imported from external sources.

The data is all synchronized in real-time and always up-to-date. It also allows for more powerful control of users as well as authentication policies. Check it out at the Cloud Directory Website.

How Can You Benefit From Pre-built Integrations?

Adding value to software applications requires easy integrations and compatibility with different platforms. Pre-built integrations have features that are easy to use. They do not require any coding, and with a simple click of a button, you get to include them in your applications. These provide so many pre-built functionalities to your applications, thus improving your overall performance.

What are Pre-built Integrations?

Pre-built-integrations are software components that carry out specific functions on behalf of the application. They work with all kinds of existing applications on different platforms and are compatible with all of them. They enable existing applications to include these features and extend their usability.

What is the Use of Pre-built-Integrations?

Software developers and business people use pre-built-integrations to ease their workflows.

  • They fit with existing applications that are already in active use at the workplace.
  • These integrations enhance their functionality and their features to the end-users.
  • Pre-built integrations enable these applications to have more features and capabilities that enhance their performance.

The integrations also empowers a business to adopt new products and software components released by vendors. The process is simple and transparent enough that anyone in the company can handle it.

Integrations ensure that the applications function better and deliver more efficient services. The applications should also perform better with new features added.

Who Uses Pre-built Integrations?

Anyone who needs to make their existing software work better can use pre-built-integrations. The company that needs to enhance its productivity can turn to the pre-built integration to make their software more effective.

Developers also use pre-built-integrations to develop new company software and need more features. Adding new features with the integrations is very easy and takes much less time than coding new solutions from scratch.

Developers also keep abreast of new developments and comply with current software quality standards.

Why the Need for Pre-built Integrations?

The integrations are much easier to work with and don’t require coding. Fitting them to the existing solution works like Lego blocks and takes less time. The vendor designs them to deliver features at a faster, more massive scale, which makes them the preferred option

The time taken to craft up new solutions to existing problems might be a challenge, especially for software features that require a lot of third parties. The integration challenge calls for an easier solution that is already built and ready to deploy to production.

Compatibility is one of the challenges people face whenever integrating new features into existing applications. Most of the add-ons are incompatible if they have not been designed for the platform in question.

However, pre-built-integrations need to interface with existing applications no matter their build and give them access to the features they desire.

Pre-built-integrations enable businesses to catch up with the growing pace of technological growth and stay relevant in a changing world of information. Businesses manage to stay compliant with the constantly changing requirements of technology.

Pre-built integrations are easy, quick solutions.

Never compromise security
for convenience, choose both!


Security and authentication solutions are some of the typical examples of pre-built-integrations. Two-factor verification for users is a security feature that is getting heavy adoption due to its strength.

It is being added to software systems and new applications to secure information at the workplace better.

Some other examples of pre-built-integrations are ready-made cloud storage services such as databases. These can be added to an existing application with a single click and makes it easier to store data on a large scale.

The solution needs less set-up and preparation to work. It is also compatible with different software platforms

Workplace applications often require enterprise features to be included in them, such as cloud identity services. Luckily, the cloud service providers have already provided their packages as pre-built-integrations. These can be installed into existing applications with much ease. They are used to ease workflows and routine data storage processes.

Businesses can add collaboration in online meetings to existing applications as a pre-built solution. The users do not have to add more authentications to their workflow to access these features. A single entry point provides them access to all these other applications using one centralized token.

Backing up information generated in applications needs a solution to upload the information to online servers. Pre-built-integrations make this possible by authenticating the user and making backups of their information on the cloud.

Openly available information storage services can be added as a background saving feature on information within the applications.

Advantages to Users

The user doesn’t need to write any code to get the integration working. They spend less time going through the documentation and do not have to get stuck on software bugs. The users also get access to hundreds of software features provided as a pre-built solution and can choose from these.

Users also get to install software features into their solutions much faster. The features add to the capabilities embedded into their applications. They also don’t have to work long before these solutions can work in their applications

The integration process is also much shorter and saves the users time when complying with new regulations. For instance, information safety regulations and laws that are affected must be complied with quickly. Pre-built-integrations make compliance a breeze for most software users

Advantages for Businesses

For the businesses, pre-built integrations give them a competitive advantage in an ever-changing environment. They get to be compliant with the newest industry regulations. They also match up to current information processing standards. The business also gets to have more secure applications that control access and make employees easier to manage.

Businesses that employ pre-built integrations to streamline their processes also see a boost in their productivity. This follows the boost in efficiency that is witnessed by the integration of these pre-built solutions. Complying with new industry requirements is also made easier and less expensive.

Compared to developing the software solutions from scratch, pre-built integrations are way cheaper. They are easy to integrate and do not take a long time to affect into exiting solutions. They are therefore considered a benefit for businesses

Customization is possible with the business defining their custom constants and variables used daily. These include addresses, branding information, and some of the company constants used to process company information. Customization also makes the integration more powerful for the business that is affecting it.

With the information scene changing rapidly, keeping up is getting more difficult for modern businesses. The requirements are getting more specific and difficult to implement. This is a reason to integrate ready-made solutions. Staying informed requires updated solutions that are ready to integrate into applications


Integration solutions currently in existence have proved useful and of benefit to many users. However, the pre-built integrations also tend to have their downfalls, which are as follows

  • They rely much on external entities and services
  • Bugs on the provider side are hard to notice on the users end
  • Updates are hard to manage and maintenance is also difficult
  • Pre-built software changes only get affected with software upgrades
  • These solutions are also not flexible or adaptable to users’ needs

Pre-built integrations enable the software users to add features they perceived as complicated or expensive. Cloud-based service providers are now closer to the software and can, in the end, make the workplace more friendly. These software solutions are also required to add features gracefully on top of existing applications

Bottom Line

Saving money when upgrading software is important with most of the existing solutions available in read-made formats. Pre-built packages are easy to install in existing software applications and make them faster and more efficient. These packages are for businesses with a growing user base and need to adapt faster to changing needs.

Teamstack as a Solution

Every company requires identity management and security for its employees. As a responsible software user, you should be ready to add many of your employees’ features and external applications. These make it possible to get their workflows going with the features they are using for a long time.

Teamstack provides hundreds of applications that can integrate into your existing software and cloud solutions. The features and capabilities provided by these solutions range from project management, scheduling to file sharing and collaboration. This makes the software solution a powerful one to have in your workflow.

By leveraging the power of the cloud, Teamstack makes online features and capabilities easier to deliver to the end-user. Online services such as cloud storage and authentication become possible with the pre-built integration. This makes your organization safer and more secure.

Whenever you are developing applications for your business, keep up with current changes in the information landscape using Teamstack. The service ensures that you integrate necessary features into your software with ease. Not only does this save you time, but it also significantly reduces your expenditure

Teamstack is for businesses and organizations that intend to keep pace with the internet. Change is taking place at an unprecedented rate and adapting requires working smart. The integration of this identity and authentication solution is simple for all application platforms.

10 Signs You Need To Upgrade Your Legacy IAM

Are you uncertain if your IAM solution is comprehensively addressing your identity management challenges? It seems all isn’t well, although you’re still managing. However, you may only be solving issues temporarily.

In reality, you may be adding unnecessary complexity and costs to a solution that is offering you minimal benefits.

If you’re still unclear if it’s time to migrate to a better solution, read this article. Check if any of the following signs apply to you.

What Is Legacy IAM?

Identity access management (IAM) incorporates all the processes, policies, and products employed to manage and regulate user identities. It defines the access privileges and roles each user in a network enjoys. It also determines the cases in which access may be granted or denied. In this case, users may be your customers or employees. Besides, it also integrates the security and productivity features in your entire business.

These systems offer the tools that administrators need to track the following:

  • user activities,
  • change their roles,
  • enforce policies or create reports based on user activities

These systems ensure users are compliant with government regulations and company policies. The identity access management systems are under the umbrella of IT security and data management systems. These systems are vital in ensuring data, systems, and applications are only accessible to authorized users.

Why Should You Modernize Your Company’s Identity Access Management System?

As we’ve seen, these systems are a critical part of any business or organization’s security and productivity plans. If you’re using a system that offers compromised user standards, you allow unauthorized users to access corporate information.

Business leaders and IT teams must do all they can to overcome increased organizational and regulatory pressure. They must ensure access to corporate assets is limited to authorized personnel. That can’t be possible unless they are implementing an excellent identity and access management system.

The system audits all corporate assets in the cloud and on-premise and controls access to these assets. These cloud-based identity management systems comprise regular updates to bring in new features. These features include analytics, biometric and behavioral capabilities that ensure that the system is functioning optimally and incorporates new technologies. That’s why businesses need to modernize their solutions regularly.

If any data breach occurs in your company, as the CEO, you will bear the burden.

Therefore, it’s crucial to check if your system shows any signs of replacement and take the necessary action to avoid such occurrences.

Work with your IT department to ensure compliance and implement their recommendations to ensure your network is safe, secure, and up-to-date.

Signs That It’s Time to Update Your Company’s Identification System

1. Increasing Apps Integration Requirements

If your IT experts can no longer sustain the demand for integrating the latest technologies into your security and productivity systems, it’s time to reconsider if you should modernize your identity access solution.

Here’s good news: modern solutions offer better, affordable, secure, and hassle-free ways of adding or removing applications in your system. These systems allow all administrators to effectively control who accesses company information, whether in the cloud or on the premises.

2. You Have a Must-Have App or System That Isn’t Covered by Your Legacy system

Do you have an app or system that’s widely used in your business but is not covered by your current solution system?

You definitely need an upgrade.

It’s essential to consider upgrading to a new identity access management system that will cater to your enterprise’s apps and systems.

Systems and apps beyond your existing system’s scope mean your team will have to manually address identity and access issues. And this means increased workload.

These manual manipulations are prone to many errors and can cause breaches to occur. The best solution is to implement a solution that covers all systems and apps in your network.

3. No More Updates for Your Legacy system

The modern business landscapes demand the use of more robust identity and access technology and controls to counteract the increasingly complex and stringent regulatory requirements.

It’s time to move to a better solution if your legacy access management system isn’t keeping up with the latest technology.

There is no need to continue paying license and maintenance fees for an outdated identity access system. Modern cloud-based systems offer smart options such as self-service password and embrace machine learning and artificial intelligence to make the systems faster and more efficient.

If the system is no longer supported, it can increase the vulnerability of your network to attacks. It may even be unable to integrate with your new apps and devices, which will hurt your growth and productivity.

4. Lack of Specific Software Features

Technology is changing very fast. A top system in the last three years may not cope with authentication capabilities and integration methods today. It may also be more expensive to maintain. If your legacy system becomes incompatible with new techniques and your business environment, it’s time to consider modernizing it.

5. Your Legacy System Is Not Accessible To External Partners

Traditional identity systems were designed for a more closed workforce. This means they cannot offer temporary users such as customers, contractors, and other external user access to business resources.

Fortunately, the modern identity and access management systems provide new environments that ensure your customers, suppliers, and contractors can access information and data in your system without any hurdles. If this is your case, you need to upgrade to a modern cloud-based system.

6. Usability, Performance, and Scalable Problems

As your business grows, user accounts, roles, and capabilities should scale with it. In a few years, you may find the system that was once sufficient no longer serves your needs. It could be showing slower logins, breaches, and other limitations. If you are experiencing any of these issues, the best option would be to seek a robust replacement.

7. Erroneous Manual Processes

If your company is still practicing manual access certification and identification, it’s time to install a modern identification system.

Manual processes are prone to abuse of privileges, many errors, audit findings, outdated information, and decreased productivity due to wastage of employee time.

8. Increased Third-Party Access

If the number of external users accessing your network increases, the risk of breaches increases. This means you need a robust and comprehensive identity and access management system. Third-party access by your clients, suppliers, contractors, and vendors brings in extra concerns in your legacy IAM.

If your system cannot extend controls to other networks, it’s more vulnerable to attacks. It’s therefore vital to install an identification system with automated provisioning and de-provisioning to mitigate the risks that come with third party access and at the same time maintain the required access levels.

9. Audit Findings

When you encounter an audit finding in your legacy system, whether self-reported or exposed by external auditors, it’s a clear indication that your system needs to be modernized.

Imagine discovering that your former employees still access your network. Or other unauthorized individuals can access or revoke privileges implemented in the past. It’s a warning about your identity management system.

Audit findings attract several regulatory authorities’ penalties; that’s why you should not take audit findings lightly. Compliance isn’t optional, but it’s a mandatory exercise that you should implement to the letter.

10. Emerging Compliance Regulations

As laws on data security continue to tighten, the existing solution may no longer be effective. Regulations such as HIPAA, SOX, PSD2, GDPR, financial services laws, and regional data protection laws demand you use a fool-proof system.

Instead of implementing the new demands on your existing system, the best option would be to replace your system.

If you are not in control of your network and the credentials of all individuals accessing your business information and resources, you are staring at possible non-compliance penalties.

It’s even worse if you’re in an industry with strict data protection laws, such as healthcare.

In this case, you need an access system with comprehensive monitoring and reporting features. The solution is to modernize your identity management system.

Never compromise security
for convenience, choose both!

Our Identity Access Management System

It’s vital to ensure you’re using an effective identity system.

Your IT team should always evaluate your current identity access solution to ensure any vulnerabilities are identified and addressed immediately.

It’s essential to choose a cloud identity management system that can accommodate your increasing number of internal and external users.

Teamstack is an excellent cloud identity management system. It integrates with more than 500 applications to offer secure and convenient network access to your workforce.

This system will address potential cybersecurity risks in your system by employing modern technologies such as privileged access management, Single Sign-On (SSO), and multifactor authentication.

Contact us today if you require a comprehensive modern identity access management system. Our goal is to ensure you get a modern solution that will guarantee you’ll never experience any data breach besides staying in compliance with all regulatory requirements.

The 6 Reasons Why You Need An Automated IAM Process

Face it, your company has an identity problem. Not that it doesn’t know what it is. Rather, too many people have access to critical accounts that, if used, can result in serious problems. These include broken processes and, in a worst-case scenario, hacked data. What you need is access management automation to keep track of user access, segregation of duties, and ID removal.

What is IAM?

Simply put, IAM is a process that permits administrators to add an employee or customer into a company’s IT environment. Additionally, it provides them with the necessary access privileges for various applications.

Why it’s Needed?

There are several reasons to implement access management.

  • It adds an extra level of security to your enterprise’s network.
  • It’s a proactive way of segregating duties between different departments.
  • It helps you keep track of an employee’s productivity.
  • It is a useful tool for organizations that consider expanding over time.

IAM improves the overall benefits of internal employees or external customers. Through extra layers of verification, like multi-factor authentication (MFA), they can access multiple platforms without remembering a large number of passwords. On top of this, managers have an easier time reviewing activity, tracking permissions, and minimizing security breaches.

Never compromise security
for convenience, choose both!

Why Do Businesses Still Run on Manual IAM Platforms?

There are a few reasons why more than two-thirds of businesses still rely on manual entry and management. One is size. Smaller companies might feel they don’t need to automate processes.

A second reason is their budget. The implementation of an automated IAM system not only requires software and hardware. Training is also required to ensure the proper steps are taken. If an enterprise doesn’t have a full-time IT department, then the cost of a software as a service (SaaS) agency must be added to a budget. Whether big or small, some companies don’t feel automation is worth the cost.

Another reason is complacency. If a manual IAM installation has worked for them then there’s no reason to make a change. Unfortunately, managers only see the top layer of operations. They might ignore or be in denial of the underlying issues.

Benefits of Access Management Automation

No matter the size of the company, there are benefits to an automated IAM setup. Here are 6 of them.

1. It’s a centralized system.

Automated IAM is designed to be centralized so information entered on a user is populated from that platform. This means your IT admins don’t need to create users on each system through manual entry or a custom-built script.

2. Creating, changing, and removing user information is time-consuming.

User administration can be a full-time job that takes away from other important tasks. When the process is automated it takes a few minutes to enter the information and have it populate across the network. In fact, some packages do it automatically through an online form.

3. You increase coordination with HR.

Automated IAM allows your human resources department to work more closely with department managers. Rather than search a huge database, HR representatives can quickly pull up an employee and make changes that populate across all platforms. For instance, they record if someone has been transferred, quit, or received a bonus or promotion.

4. Simplifies segregation of duties

Segregation of duties is critical for any organization, and it’s hard for department managers and HR representatives to keep up with all the changes. Automated IAM provides templates for each division. As a result, there’s no longer a need to manually select permissions from an extensive list.

5. Ease of use increases for everyone

Though the initial push might take some time, employees and customers have an easier time to set up their devices or access niche apps. They don’t need to request an ID for every new platform they access.

6. You gain full control of your IT infrastructure

It’s difficult to be in control of IT security when you continue to use a manual IAM solution. When you implement access management automation it gives you full control of the environment. Thus, you can block or release permissions should a system get compromised for one reason or another.

Industries That Benefit From Automated IAM

Practically every business benefits from access management automation. Not only does it simplify the population of the network but it also increases productivity in the teams that once had to manually handle these operations.

The biggest benefactor of automated IAM is corporations with a large number of employees or customers. Handling the manual addition, modification, and deletion of users regularly takes a long time and leads to mistakes.

Another industry that benefits from this form of IAM is eCommerce. Especially if the companies within the sector utilize the Cloud. Access management automation allows administrators to quickly add users and extra layers of confirmation like MFA. This secures logins and reduces the risk of cyberattacks.

Those sectors that require personally identifiable information (PII) from their customers also need automated IAM. This can be a healthcare organization or a regularly visited shopping site like Amazon.

First, it prevents them from accessing parts of the network that should normally be blocked from unauthorized users. Second, it keeps their PII safe from cybercriminals or ransomware attacks.

Words of Caution

Overall, IAM is a secure way to handle a user’s permissions within an IT infrastructure. However, there are some cautions to consider when you decide to implement this solution.

Most importantly, do not implement a DIY access management service. There are too many factors within this type of platform that result in security gaps. Since the role of an automated IAM is to protect IDs and the people that utilize them, lack of protocols leads to serious circumstances.

These gaps are also part of the general risks of any type of access management automation. Others include:

  • Availability of resources (IT or HR administrators) to manage the service.
  • Ownership of data.
  • Budget considerations.
  • Complex designs that are difficult to administer.
  • Ineffective user rollouts.

All of these risks are mitigated via a thorough project management setup.

The Bottom Line

Identity and access management processes and technologies play an important role in security strategies. Organizations and IT professionals that utilize them, particularly in automated form, need to ensure these strategies are robust enough to deal with new threats. For this, you may need some additional support. That is where Teamstack can help.

Our staff of subject matter experts on automated IAM is available to review your current environment and make the necessary recommendations to streamline user access processes. This is critical as the internet and network infrastructures continue to change. Reach out to us today for a free quote.

All You Need To Know About An Audit Log

Understanding the importance of audit log procedures is important for your business. Ensuring your audit log management is effective supports your security, accountability, and compliance.

Unfortunately, we see numerous businesses overlooking this concept for more urgent issues. To help prevent you from making this mistake, we are providing you with a complete explanation of audit logs and how to ensure your business can take advantage of this opportunity.

What is an Audit Log?

We often hear audit logs referred to as an audit trail. The importance of audit log procedures for your business is the record you receive of any changes and events. Your audit log records the logs created by your IT devices based on events regarding specific activities or sequences.

Every audit trail operates differently according to your operating systems, applications, and devices. You receive a record of which individual performed an activity, the specific activity, and the response of your system.

You can use an audit trail to determine suspicious activities or to locate and fix any network issues. Your audit trail can be either an electronic or manual record.

You will need to input your logs for a manual record as opposed to using automation. We are aware of numerous industries dependent on audit logs including accounting, financial, billing records, health information, and design controls.

Benefits of Audit Logs

An audit log offers advantages and benefits for businesses and IT teams including the following:

Detect Security Breaches

A detailed audit log helps monitor data while tracking potential information misuse and security breaches. It ensures users adhere to protocols while preventing fraud. Examining audit records reveals an intrusion in real-time.

Audit Trails and Compliance

Audit logs are important for compliance because sensitive information is secure and only accessible to authorized users.

This is critical for numerous industries including government, finance, legal, and accounting. Logs serve as proof for auditors that files are shared securely and remain in compliance with privacy laws.

Risk Management

An audit trail is also used for reconstructing events after the occurrence of an issue. It shows why, when, and how normal operations were interrupted.

Gain Insight

To avoid future issues, you need to know why an intrusion occurred or your system crashed. Use audit logs for data corruption or loss by reconstructing files to see when changes were recorded.

Advantages of an Audit Log

The following are the advantages linked to an audit trail:

Lower Capital Costs

Decrease capital costs by finding and repairing errors and fraud quickly. Your financial statements will reflect lower interest rates and an improved ROI or return on investment.

Operational Efficiency

Ensure operating efficiency within your business with an audit log. As a result, there is a positive influence on your entire staff.

Deter Inefficiency and Fraud

If your business suffers a loss, proper auditing ensures funds are available for transfer. In some instances, the insurance carrier resolves your claims.

Settle Disputes

Easily settle management disputes by using the information obtained from audit trails. This is an effective option to constructively improve the efficiency of your business.

Profit and Loss Information

Logs help determine the profit and loss of your business. Employees have the opportunity to talk about the ideas necessary to improve your business and overcome difficulties.

Maximize Profits

Audits enable you to handle challenges to ensure any conflicts are resolved quickly. This means you can reach your maximum profit level.

Reputation Maintenance

Audits enhance the reputation of your business while helping to ensure growth. The necessary review of regulations helps you maintain a good reputation for your industry.

Audit Log Disadvantages

In addition to advantages, audit logs also have the following disadvantages.

Additional Costs

You will have to pay for the additional cost of testing.

An audit also requires the attention of your staff, which means there will be disruptions in your workflow.

No Guarantee

You will not receive prepared and analyzed data from your audit log. You receive financial accounts for the provided data based on the information you have agreed to accept.

Never compromise security
for convenience, choose both!

Conducting an Audit Trail

The system will be unable to maintain different audits at the same time. We generally see two different types of audit records, keystroke monitoring, or a record of all keystrokes and event-oriented logs.

Logs based on events usually have records detailing your system, user, and application events.

The audit trail should also contain enough information to determine what events occurred and the individual responsible. Records should specify the command or program initiating the event, the associated user, the time of occurrence, and the final result.

Best Practices

Actively monitor all systems connected to the internet or a third-party, processes involving sensitive or valuable information, all critical applications, and any systems abused or compromised in the past.

Any critical events or suspicious behavior should generate an alert you can assess and act on.

Each system or application will require a risk assessment to determine the level of monitoring, log review, and audit necessary.

We recommend logging a minimum of the following:

  • Key events including the time and date of all logoffs and logons
  • Failed and successful attempts to access your applications, data, and systems
  • System utility usage
  • Terminal identity
  • Networks and files accessed
  • Activating protection systems including antimalware and intrusion detection
  • User IDs
  • System configuration changes
  • Security exceptions including triggered alarms

Challenges of Log Management

Your log management is incapable of distinguishing between bad and good activity. The traditional purpose of your log management is collecting data. This does not mean it can determine the difference between malicious activity and normal business activity results.

You will discover the majority of systems for log management are automated. Your logs are generated by machines for central storage.

The result is a lot of logs requiring the attention of a human to conduct an investigation for digital threats. Unfortunately, we have seen a lot of businesses skipping this important step.

If you do not perform this step, you risk a massive accumulation of logs resulting in unchallenged potential security events taking place on your servers. Proper log management requires your resources, expertise and time if you intend to perform the process properly and receive optimal benefits.

You may be challenged when you collect your logs from the cloud. Do not assume your data will be collected and your activity monitored by cloud services. We have seen this misunderstanding trigger a lot of unnecessary confusion.

No matter which type of solution you decide to use, your data should be treated in the same way as when it is on your servers.

The Final Word

The audit trail from Teamstack was created to help you remain current regarding the activities of your users. Teamstack enables you to know when your users have logged in, logged out, and requested credentials.

Your audit will also contain the IP address, browser details, and location of all of your users. This means you can tighten your security and spot malicious attempts to log in.

Mobile Devices Or Computer: Which Is More Secure?

With the increasing adoption of smartphones and decreasing interest in personal computers (PCs), the question of security arises. Which is more secure mobile or computer? One would assume that the low demand for PCs makes them safer as hackers focus on infringing smartphone security. While this may sound logical, in reality, smartphones are actually safer than PCs. You can transmit private data through your smartphone without worrying about hackers than via the PC.

This article highlights some of the factors that render mobile devices more secure than personal computers.

What is Hacking?

Hacking is a method that allows unauthorized access to personal data, and password hacking is a common technique. Password hackers may access your login credentials using knowledge of your lifestyle and other sensitive facts. Since most users set kid’s names, pet names, or birthdays as passwords, hackers begin here.

Also, password hacking may occur when someone guesses your password via specific software. Such software allows hackers to access your sensitive information.

Another common way for hackers to get your login credentials is when you write the passwords and other sensitive information on sticky notes. Personnel pasting the sticky notes on the PC’s monitor makes the data vulnerable to hackers.

In some situations, a hacker may impersonate to gain access to and change your login credentials.

For instance, a hacker may masquerade as an employee and get in touch with IT for credentials reset. Once the hacker resets and changes the password, he has unlimited access to the employee’s personal data.

Consequences of Being a Hacking Victim

Data breach through hacking is increasing at an alarming rate. Some of the sensitive information at risk includes:

  • Intellectual property,
  • payment card data, and
  • personal health information.

Since most businesses are using cloud servers for data storage and relying on enterprise databases, hacking is now easier. Being a victim of hacking could cause you to lose money, goods, and private data to fraudsters. You might also lose access to your accounts since the hackers may change and retain login credentials.

Companies also risk complete wipeout of data and network systems. Regaining network security and maintaining data safety after a hack is tasking and expensive. Once hackers take over your operating system, they could use the acquired sensitive information for criminal acts.

Which is More Secure Mobile or Computer?

Mobile security is better than computer security for the following reasons.

Android sandboxing

Smartphones allow apps to create different accounts for various users. So, if one user has an infected app, it’s not going to affect others unless you permit the app to. Android apps can only collect designated data and cannot launch files on SD cards.

On the other hand, downloading infected apps on a personal computer puts the entire system and other files at risk. Although you may delete the virus, it’s likely to keep on infecting the PC and its files.

Smartphone code-signing

Before you can download and install an app on your mobile phone, the developer has to undergo verification. Hence, it’s unlikely for Android developers to sell malware-infected software via the available channels.

However, you can readily get unregistered PC apps with malware or virus infection online.

Internet Protocol (IP) addresses on PCs

It’s easy for hackers to track your exact location using the IP address. When you connect your PC to the internet, it shows where you’re using it from.

However, a mobile phone will not indicate your internet protocol address.

Tips on How to Avoid Being Hacked Regardless of the Device You are Using

You must understand the factors that contribute to hacking to avoid them. Here are some tips to protect you against hackers.

Use complex passwords

Avoid using common passwords like ‘123456’, ‘2580’, pet’s name, family members’ names, or date of birth. These are obvious options that hackers first consider, in case they have your private information.

When creating your password, integrate symbols, numbers, letters(small and upper case). The longer the password, the harder it gets to guess. If you’re stuck, try safe password generators for help.

For mobile phones, use a strong passcode to deter hackers. If the device offers other security options like biometrics, they’re much safer than passcodes. Fingerprints and face recognition are popular alternatives for enhancing smartphone security.

Implement a two-factor authentication procedure

Companies often find themselves in a dilemma when hackers access clients’ or other personal data. To minimize this risk, organizations are considering using a two-factor authentication process.

For instance, instead of accessing an account with just the password, you’ll also need a text or email code. In essence, as the user, you’ll need access to a personal device to receive the code. Such a security step helps organizations verify the authenticity of users as they’ll need to confirm entry.

Change the password regularly

Besides keeping your passwords a secret, try changing them often to enhance mobile security or computer security. Instead of changing a single letter or number, consider regenerating it essentially.

On the same note, avoid using the same password for different accounts. Remember, the more diverse the passwords are, the better your security.

Use misleading answers for your security questions

Although it may be simpler to use the correct answers for security questions, the risk of falling prey to hackers is higher. So, consider using incorrect answers for the security questions to be safe.

For instance, if asked, what is your pet’s name? Try something like kiwifruit, strawberry, or $5926%¥!

For memory, you can write down these answers for safekeeping. Don’t just copy them on sticky notes and paste them on your monitor. Hackers can access this information quite easily.

Update your operating system

Smartphones are quite convenient since you can readily turn on the automatic update feature. So, once a newer version of your OS is available, the smartphone will notify you and update it. This smartphone security measure eliminates unforeseen vulnerabilities.

Keep off public USB ports

If you want to charge your mobile phone through public USB ports, be cautious. Bring your cable along with an electrical outlet adapter to avoid compromising your device’s security.

Sign out of accounts after use

Once you finish using your accounts in any software, consider signing out rather than closing the page. This step is particularly essential for users on a public network or those sharing devices.


Despite the device you are using, you should be able to comfortably and safely log into any account or software. However, hackers are out to frustrate you. Try Teamstack for cloud identity security and safe access management. You’ll get convenient access to all online platforms and securely use your applications. Teamstack is there to make your life easier and secure through a reliable cloud-based platform.

Avoid Security Breaches: How To Protect Your Data

Criminals do not care which company they steal data from, regardless if they’re big or small. In 2017, a significant data breach occurred at Equifax, affecting 147.9 million consumers and exposing their personal data. The company said the breach started around mid-May but did not discover the breach until July 29th that same year.

We’ll discuss in this article the best practices to prevent data breaches and data breach security measures.

What is data breach

Data breaches are intentional or unintentional breaches in security.

This happens when cyber hackers or criminals exploit a weakness in an organization’s network defense to use stolen data without authorization.

A data breach can occur in the form of the following:

  • a brute force attack
  • malware, or
  • spear-phishing

and can push further until the attacker reaches the server and either steals the intended data or damage the server that hosts it.

How do data breaches happen?

A data breach often starts at the endpoint of a network, whether it’s a workstation or mobile device.

What causes a data breach?

Three things cause data breaches:

  • Human error
  • Process failure
  • Malicious

Human error is sometimes referred to in the work environment as operator error. They carelessly leave their ID card in their card reader without physically being present at their workstation.

This habit leaves a potential insider threat to access the machine.

Process failure happens when an organization purchases a CND (computer network defense) solution but does not keep it up to date and stay on top of policy enforcement when it comes to personnel and enterprise management.

It is also possible for a business to buy security products but never implement them in their network.

Malicious codes, meanwhile, account for over 50% of data breaches within networks.

Never compromise security
for convenience, choose both!

Other Types of Data Breaches

Hacking is a small subset within the malicious category since they manage to breach successfully due to gaining computer access by stealing default passwords or merely guessing weak ones.

Major news outlets reported on breaches in the past. However, they have become more frequent recently that they are now commonplace.

There are more than 390,000 strains of malware items daily, targeting not only Windows machines but also Macs and Linux computers.

There isn’t a heavy focus on anti-virus solutions for computers with these operating systems that is why these platforms’ infection rate is highly successful.

Social engineering is another type of malicious breach, where a person emails or calls someone at the company and pretending to be someone they’re not.

This breach can come in the form of phishing emails. Learn more about phishing here.

Statistics show that roughly 30 percent of users open phishing emails, with another 12 percent opening attachments contained within them.

Education and training is a necessity in this continually persistent threat.

Effects of a data breach

The effects of data breaches can be damaging and far-reaching. People lose trust in an organization as the latter’s reputation diminishes.

Most high-profile breaches that occurred go as high as nine figures, affecting an organization’s executive level.

Companies affected by these data breaches continue to uncover costs borne by these breaches: such as increased acquisition costs, lost business opportunities, and loss of trust by investors and consumers.

It is essential for security managers to work with executives to develop and implement data breach security measures.

Tips to prevent data breaches

The following are the best practices to prevent data breaches:

Records maintenance/upkeep

Retain only the data you need; you should have a process where information is periodically reviewed and updated or destroyed if no longer needed.

Safeguard data

Keep physical records containing personally identifiable information (PII) within a secure space. Give access only to those with a need-to-know, and vet your personnel via background checks.

Temporary vendors or workers should never have access to PII on customers or employees.

Keep procedures current

Never use Social Security numbers as a form of identification under the 1974 Privacy Act. Use a separate ID system as a means of identification for employees.


Shred/cross-cut hard copy paper files before disposing of anything containing PII. If necessary, destroy any portable media such as CDs/DVDs. Note that deleting files does not remove data from a system.

You either need specialized software to wipe data from the hard drive permanently or magnetize and destroy the hard drive physically to prevent data from being recovered.

Be aware that multi-function devices with photocopy capability can also retain data; they need to be configured to clear out data after each use.

Computer usage

Restrict workstations for business use; never let employees install software or use peer-to-peer file-sharing programs.

Do not allow the installation of unauthorized software, and use firewalls to block unauthorized websites.

Computer security

For the individual workstations, enforce a PIN/password and time-out policy that requires login after a certain amount of inactivity.

Train your personnel to never leave the company computers unattended. Official telecommunications should be kept to company workstations only.


Have a written policy on hand on data and privacy security, and disseminate it to all employees within the organization.

Remind employees to log off their workstations and secure files within their filing cabinets before the end of the day.

Educate them on their responsibility to protect files that contain confidential or sensitive data.

Security software updates

Keep your workstations, servers, and other associated devices up-to-date with the latest security patches. It makes criminals’ lives more difficult and yours easier.

Encrypted transmission

Make it a standard practice for your personnel to send encrypted emails if they contain sensitive data.

Media protection

Inventory all media within the premises, such as CDs, flash/hard drives, as they can be stolen easily unless kept under lock and key.

The Bottom Line

Your company’s data is one of its most valuable assets. Implementing a security solution does not have to be a complicated process. Bolster your company’s security today by implementing some of the security practices above to provide a safe and secure network.

How Teamstack Can Help

Cyberattacks need to be taken seriously. Teamstack can help you build up your company’s defenses against such attacks.

We are a cloud identity management system that couple with commonly used apps including Dropbox, Zoom, G Suite, and hundreds of other programs to securely manage employee data and prevent unauthorized access to company data.

Teamstack contains a variety of tools that allow your company’s team members to securely log onto these applications with ease and without compromising security.

All About 2FA: What is OTP, TOTP, and HOTP?

Offering reliable and safe access to cloud-based applications is an ongoing problem for organizations across all industries. Therefore, providing users with simple and dependable security measures is vital for securing sensitive company data and user info. But with many two-factor authentication (2FA) options, which one is suitable for you–OTP, TOTP, or HOTP?

Today, it’s essential for companies to offer 2FA (Two-factor authentication) to their users to protect their activities on the internet. There’re multiple types of 2FA out there. In this post, we’ll discuss the three most common methods: one-time password (OTP), a time-based one-time password (TOTP), and a hash-based one-time password (HOTP).

We’ll discuss each, give out their differences, their pros and cons, as well as how they work. Read on to find out more!

Defining Terms

What is 2FA?

Simply put, 2FA (Two-factor authentication) is an additional step incorporated in the sign-in process, such as a fingerprint scan or a code sent to your phone. The extra step helps to verify your identity and deter cybercriminals from gaining access to your private info.

Two-factor authentication is a form of multiple-factor authentication that provides an additional security level that cybercriminals cannot effortlessly access. The reason for this is that hackers will require more than just your sign-in credentials (username and password) to gain access.

What is MFA?

MFA (multiple-factor authentication) is an authentication technique that demands users to give two or more factors to access software, an online account, or even a VPN (Virtual Private Network). Instead of asking for login credentials only, MFA demands one or more extra verification factors limiting the probability of a successful cyber-attack. Check out our blog post here as we discuss MFA in detail.

Types of Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

Now that we’ve defined what 2FA is and how it works, below are three methods of two-factor authentication.

One-time Password

OTP or a one-time password is a unique code sent to a user via phone or email. Typically, it comes with four to six characters and users need to input the characters to authenticate their identity.

Generally, organizations use a one-time password as a complementary factor in MFA processes, but businesses can also use it to authenticate users.

Time-based One-time Password (TOTP)

TOTP (time-based one-time password) is merely a one-time password based on time. OTPs usually base their functioning on the time sequences known as timesteps. In most cases, a timestep duration lasts for roughly 30 to 180 seconds, but it’s possible to customize this time duration. Well, this means that the OTP code is invalid if used after the stipulated time’s elapse.

We’ve discussed in detail how TOTP works in this blog post.

Hash-based One-time Password (HOTP)

HOTP (hash-based one-time password) is an OTP based on events. Basically, HOTP comes with a token generation that’s only known to the server and the user. Since the OTP is sent to the user and founded on a hash algorithm, the OTP gets the name ‘hash-based one-time passwords.’

Why Use 2FA/MFA?

Two-factor authentication or MFA can assist in deterring some of the leading types of cyberattacks, such as:

Spear phishing – the act of sending emails to precise and well-researched targets while alleging to be a trustworthy sender.
Phishing – a technique of attempting to gather personal info via deceptive websites and emails.
Keyloggers – it’s a type of software or malware made to record keystrokes that users make.
Brute force & reverse brute force attacks – it’s a type of hack that depends on guessing potential combinations of a targeted password until discovering the right password.
Credential stuffing – it’s the automated use of collected credentials to gain deceitful access to user accounts.
MITM (Man-in-the-middle) attacks – it’s the act when an attacker or intruder interrupts communications between two or more parties either to adjust or secretly eavesdrop traffic between the parties.

Top Industries that need Two-Factor Authentication

2FA is a fantastic tool for businesses to protect themselves and their consumers. The extra security makes it easy to prevent over 80% of the security breaches. Here are the industries that benefit most from Two-factor authentication.


Two-factor authentication makes online accounts much more secure means the internet industry is a good home for Two-factor authentication. For internet companies, such as Facebook, Instagram and Google, two-factor authentication has incredible value. Indeed, users want to secure their email and social accounts.


For all users, securing financial data is a substantial concern. With this, it would be wise for banks to provide extra security since they’re a top target.


When it comes to the eCommerce industry, two-factor authentication solves credit card fraud problems.

Government Organizations

Cybercriminals always target government organizations. With a 2FA process in place, it will be easy to prevent both cyber and physical attacks in government bodies.


Transmitting electronic data can pose a threat to both providers and patients. Two-factor authentication in the health industry ensures patients’ data stays private and confidential.

How 2FA Works

It is crucial to have know-how regarding factors to understand how two-factor authentication works. Ideally, you’ll need to have a 2FA factor to gain access to an account. Here’s a breakdown of what to expect:

Knowledge – the factors need you to know something, such as security questions, a code sent to your phone or even a particular keystroke.
Biology – the system gives users access to proving their identity via biological makers, such as voice or fingerprint.
Possession – a user needs to have a physical factor, such as a USB drive or debit card and then insert it into a device to gain access.

Never compromise security
for convenience, choose both!

Advantages of 2FA

  • It adds an extra security layer
  • It adds variation
  • It’s quite cost-effective
  • It remembers users’ accounts
  • Lightweight

Disadvantages of 2FA

  • Increased sign-in time
  • Integration cost
  • It’s not foolproof
  • Downtime can be disruptive

How OTP Works

If activated, OTP is sent to users that need to sign into their digital accounts. Merely put, it assists in authenticating users’ identity and it needs to be used within a stipulated time. Upon OTPs allowing users to log into their accounts, their validity vanishes. Since it’s only usable once, an OTP is safer than a static password.


  • It’s secure from replay attacks
  • It lets you keep your emails secure
  • It’s convenient to use


  • It may get out of sync
  • You may get locked out of your account
  • It’s relatively expensive for the providers

TOTP VS HOTP: What is the Difference?

Since it incorporates additional factors to meet the algorithm security requirements, TOTP is regarded as a newer version of HOTP. The fact that time-based one-time password is valid within a specific period means it offers more security than HOTP. Here, incorporating a new factor that needs to be met enhances the code’s security.

Additionally, sending a one-time password comes down to other external factors, like internet connectivity for the emails and broadband coverage for calls and SMS. If users lack any of these, the one-time code will not arrive at the user’s device and they’ll be unable to input the code to authenticate their identity. In such a scenario, users will have to request another code. Besides, even if users meet all the criteria, failure to use the OTP fast will be useless.

When it comes to this, HOTPs perhaps provide friendlier ways of authenticating users because timesteps don’t restrict them. Instead, users can enter their codes whenever they deem it fit. Unluckily, compared to time-based OTPs, HOTPs are less secure.

Final Words

Irrespective of the kind of One-time based password you use, selecting a one-time based password generator is a much secure way to use MFA. Today, hackers have invented techniques to interrupt the OTPs code, whether via SIM card fraud or other hacks. Whatever the case, the time for implementing two-factor authentication in any industry is now!

If you’ve problems deploying MFA in your company, Teamstack is the team to get in touch with. Teamstack is unmatched in multiple-factor authentication as it supports popular methods, such as TOTP (Google Authenticator), WebAuthn (Windows Hellow on Win, Touchld on Mac and FIDO2), SMS codes, etc.

What is a Time-based One-time Password (TOTP)?

Using complex passwords has become the best practice. In the past, this type of password was a good solution to account security. Using long passphrases is a better option than complex passwords, but there are two other solutions much more secure. One of the most frequently used is TOTP or Time-based One-time Password. This is different than a one-time password or PIN because you can use it more than once.

In this post, we’ll discuss what TOTP is, how it works, the advantages as well as the disadvantages of a time-based one-time password.

Defining Terms

Before we define what TOTP is, we must first discuss two-factor authentication (2FA) since a time-based one-time password is a form of 2FA.

Two-factor authentication (2FA) requires the user to provide two different kinds of identification when logging in to a computer system or to an account online. Factor is a means for the user to convince the online service or computer system of their identity. The system can then determine if the user has the right to access the information they have requested.

The most common authentication factor is the combination of a password and a username. Single-factor authentication is used for security because accounts are accessible with just a password. Two-factor authentication, meanwhile, is different because the user must provide their password in addition to proving their identity to be granted access.

A time-based one-time password or TOTP, as we mentioned, a form of 2FA. An algorithm generates a temporary passcode that uses the current time of day as one of its authentication factors. 

Cloud application providers use this type of passcode for two-factor authentication. Normally, the temporary passcode generated expires after 30, 60, 120, or 240 seconds.  

TOTP in Action

Two-factor authentification verifies the user’s identity. User requires two different factors in order to gain access: something the user has and something they know. A good example is a user logging into their bank account with their password and username. An email or SMS message will be sent containing a random code. This code enables the user to log into the banking system.

The user knows their password and username and receives a random code through their device. There are a variety of methods to send a user a time-based one-time password such as:

  • The password is displayed on the screen as a hardware security token
  • A centralized server sends text messages
  • A centralized server sends voice messages
  • Mobile authenticator apps including Google Authenticator
  • A centralized server sends email messages

Why Use TOTP

Two-factor authentication is recommended because of major data breaches. This has placed millions of passwords and email addresses pairs up for sale through the dark web. The unfortunate result is less secure passwords. The majority of people reuse their passwords for numerous accounts and sites. Hackers simply use known passwords and email addresses pairs for multiple websites until they receive access.

On the other hand, with TOTP, the user needs to enter their static password in addition to a time-based one-time password to receive approval for accessing the information on a computing system. TOTP provides an extra layer of security.

TOTP provides additional security because if the user’s password is compromised or stolen, the attacker requires the TOTP to gain access. Since this password expires quickly, the attacker is denied access. Time-based one-time passwords are approved by the IETF or the Internet Engineering Task Force.

Industries Using TOTP

The majority of businesses have a computer system requiring their users to log in. Since TOTP improves security, it can be effective for almost every industry including:

  • Automotive
  • Accounting
  • Cloud application providers
  • Engineering
  • Website developers
  • Precious metals
  • Retail services

Never compromise security
for convenience, choose both!

Advantages of Time-Based One-Time Password

Aside from the obvious, which is adding an extra layer of protection, below are the reasons to use TOTP:

Inexpensive Implementation

Organizations frequently use a time-based one-time password due to the accessibility. The majority of authentification apps generating these tokens either charge a small fee or are completely free. As a result, regardless of the size of an organization, the identity of users can be secured.


Organizations need not install new hardware for the IT resources of the users. All the user needs is an authentication app on their phone, laptop, or desktop. The majority of app providers have 2FA available for all of these devices to enable users to select the best option for their individual needs.

Improved Access

When the user accesses the system or application for the first time, the token generator remembers and stores user information.

Because of this, users do not require cellular service or WiFi to acquire their codes. New codes are constantly generated for these resources.


All an organization requires for enforcing time-based one-time passwords is the right provider. This enables the organization to scale for all of its IT resources including a wide range of applications, file servers, diversified systems, and networks.

Disadvantages of TOTP

Required User Device

The only way a user can receive their code is if they have an authenticator app ready. The user might not be able to access IT resources if they do not have their phone or the battery in their device dies. A lot of web applications offer alternates to receive codes. If the user is unable to secure a token from an authenticator app, these alternates are often available.

Secret Key

A secret key is shared between the server and the authentication app. If this secret key is cloned, valid codes can be generated resulting in the user’s account being accessed.

Quick Expiration

The user may need to enter multiple codes in an attempt to log in before the expiration of their code. The extra time necessary can result in an account lockout if the user makes too many login attempts.

Ways Attackers Get Around TOTP Authentication

Below are some scenarios when cybercriminals get around TOTP authentication:

  • When online hackers access a user’s account, they are also able to access other accounts with the same user.
  • The user’s account can be accessed if the initial site is breached or the password of the user is exposed due to a third-party breach resulting from reusing credentials for numerous different sites.
  • The company must trust the app when an organization uses TOTP for authenticator application. If the app does not store the secret keys securely or follow proper procedures, it can result in poor security.
  • A time-based one-time password is not as susceptible to social engineering as many of the other types of multi-factor authentication. Despite this, users can be tricked into providing criminals with access.

When the user’s token is pursued by an attacker, timing is incredibly important. The attacker will try to log into the account using a valid credential. This is often a password the user recycled after a previous breach. The attacker then attempts to trick the user into revealing their token.

The Bottomline

Teamstack offers important features including MFA or multi-factor authentication as support for extremely popular methods including:

  • WebAuthn for Windows Hellow for Windows, TouchID for Mac and FID02
  • The TOTP Google Authenticator
  • SMS codes

5 Steps You Should Take To Manage Your Online Identity

The internet becomes more central to us each day. We use it to coordinate appointments, shop, and educate ourselves. In turn, our online identity is constantly used. This is why the protection of our personally identifiable information (PII) has become more important.

Generally, you leave a digital footprint everywhere you go. This footprint contains certain parts of your PII. For some, it might be your username and password. In other spots, you leave your social security, credit card, and bank account numbers. The further you travel into the internet the more your footprint is fragmented.

We can’t stress enough why online identity management is now a critical part of our daily lives. The duplication of our PII impacts more than just us. It can affect the lives of our family and friends in good and bad ways. Should the information be taken and utilized maliciously, it has financial and criminal implications.

This is why we need to take the pieces of our online identities and manage them in a better way. Here are five steps to make your online identity more difficult to abuse.

What is Online Identity?

Online identity is the sum of one’s characteristics and interactions on the Internet. Because one interacts differently with each website one visits, each of those websites will have a different picture of who you are and what you do.

We’ve previously discussed what online identity is and how to protect it in this post.

Never compromise security
for convenience, choose both!

5 Ways To Manage Your Online Identity

1. Use Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

A strong password is one part of proper online identity management. It creates a barrier between your information and those who want to take it. Yet, your account is still prone to a malicious attack if you use that password in multiple locations. If cybercriminals break into it on one internet site, then they’ll search for your information in other locations.

A second layer of authentication security is needed to protect your online identity. This is in the form of multi-factor authentication (MFA). When added to your account, MFA requests an additional level of identification. Most of the time, this is a unique code sent to your email or phone.

MFA minimizes the risk of malicious activity because those who want to hack your data may not know your email or phone number. Thus, the information only goes to you.

2. Secure Your Browser To Protect Your Online Identity

Companies collect your PII data through cookies. These are small text files with pieces of information that identify your computer. They’re also used to do things like fine-tune internet preferences and send customized ads. They also determine your physical location. This is detrimental to your online identity management if a hacker gets into your system.

To reduce this risk, you want to take control of your browser and what it records. A way to do this is through the internet security values on your computer. Somewhere in the medium-high to high category minimizes attacks that can from sites that are actually home to phishing programs or viruses.

The other thing to do is regularly clear your browser. The more cookies you have stored the greater the risk of attacks. Though it means you might have to log into a site again, the inconvenience is worth it.

You can perform an additional task to maintain security – place frequently-used websites into the Trusted Sites list. It helps speed up the process to get to certain locations, including pay pages. Furthermore, you can add sites that aren’t allowed to access your computer.

You might also want to consider installing an ad-blocker on your computer. This helps to minimize the installation of cookies that track your internet activity. Also, it reduces the cookies installed on your system during a given time period.

3. Don’t Save Your Payment Information

When you purchase an item on a website or mobile application, you are normally asked to save your payment options for future use. This can save time for your next selection, and they are normally secured. However, it’s also another fragment of your online identity that’s prone to attack.

Basically, don’t save this information. It’s better to enter this information each time you make a purchase. Also, go to sites where you saved accounts from older accounts and remove them. Those are also susceptible to malicious activity.

4. Shield Your Smartphone

Smartphones are not only used for easy access to the internet from anywhere. They’re also incredibly useful in digital surveillance. They can track both your internet searches and where you physically are at any time.

As a result, companies collect information on where you were when you received a call or sent a text message. While in a brick-and-mortar shop, tracking applications provide information on where you are in the store.

This might be a bit too much for you to handle. Customizing advertisements to your personal options is one thing. Knowing where you are at all times is another.

To minimize these actions, you need to perform some maintenance on your smart device. First, remove any apps you don’t use. This helps reduce the companies who want to snoop on your current location. On top of this, disallow location information for existing apps. You might have to allow access to the app every time it is used, but it is a minor discomfort for added security.

5. Educate Yourself

There’s knowledge about online identity management and paranoia about it. Do an internet search on identity management and you’ll find dozens of stories and sites that promote conspiracy theories about the subject of personal security. They detail supposed facts about subjects that only take place in the movies.

Don’t go down that path. The internet is a powerful tool to increase your productivity. It is not part of a grand conspiracy to take over your life and the world. Thus, visit reputable sites to get a better understanding of PII and online identity management.

Now more than ever, the verification of online identities is critical. After the events of 2020, we conduct more business over the internet than in previous years. That’s bound to increase as the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence usage increases. We can’t perform transactions under online nicknames. We need to address them as our real selves.

Therefore, we need to find the best ways to handle our online identity management. Especially when it involves a good deal of PII that’s spread across multiple locations. By doing this, we can minimize the risk that cybercriminals will take advantage of it for profit.

The tips mentioned above definitely help. For more assistance, particularly when dealing with identity management in a business environment, you can rely on Teamstack. With our cloud identity and access management platform we’re able to provide your workforce with secure and convenient access. Not only does this protect individual information but also the company’s high-security data.