Authenticating by Device vs. by User

Posted by Julie Villanueva on Nov 8, 2021 5:41:50 AM

Thought about upping the ante on your security protocols? Control employee access through the identity of the user’s device rather than just the identity of the user.

This means that on top of relying on employees to provide a username and password enter into an account or system, the device itself will allow the user to sign on automatically. So when a new employee onboards, they will be given a laptop or mobile phone that enables them to enter networks like Wi-Fi® or intranets. 

Zero-Trust and Username Authentication 

If you’re an IT administrator or deal with network security within your organization, you may know the term Zero-trust Model. The Zero-trust approach means that you put no trust in individuals inside or outside your company when it comes to handling information and giving access to networks.

As extra-precautionary as it sounds, this method better protects your company from data breaches and attacks by being wary when it comes to handing out privileges.

When you hand out access to others, many factors and thoughts come into play. For one, you might not know the identity of the user if the account is being used elsewhere and if it gets left opened from another account. The user may also add their account on an unknown device infected with malware.

When you’re authenticating by device, you're sure that the device is a trustworthy source. The access to your networks only stays on one device and does not leave elsewhere.

Finding the Right Tool for Device Authentication 

One sure way that you can authenticate by device and not username is through PKI certificates. Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) is a system that allows you to encrypt and sign data sent to a device.

PKI relieves security problems such as assigning Wi-Fi® privileges. Standard user authentications for Wi-Fi® can easily become decentralized and uncontrolled when the unknown users, due to the possible sharing of accounts, get on the network. 

To keep track of the user and their device, PKI digital certificates make it easy to keep track and issue access without fear of a breach.

To add, PKI certificates help in many ways. For one, it tells which employees are on your network. Second, it protects against man-in-the-middle attacks by intercepting communication between an unsuspecting employee and an attacker via encryption. This also helps in overcoming the problem of easy-to-hack credentials.

Simple Certificate Enrollment Protocol, which comes with Foxpass’s Advanced RADIUS solution, PKI issuances are made even easier.

Bottom Line: Protect your Business

Take up the Zero-Trust protocol. Protect your business today by not risking possible security breaches via authenticating by device and not user. To implement Foxpass’s PKI Certificate and SCEP, email

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