Frequently Asked Questions for Security Officers
How does Hitachi ID Password Manager improve security?
Password Manager improves the security of authentication processes:
- A strong, uniform password policy prevents the use of easily guessed passwords and ensures that all passwords are changed regularly.
- Password synchronization discourages written passwords ("sticky notes").
- Consistent, reliable authentication processes ensures that users are reliably identified before accessing sensitive services, such as a help desk password reset.
- IT support staff can be empowered to assist callers without having administrator accounts on every system and application.
- Extensive audit logs create accountability for password resets.
- Encryption ensures that passwords are not stored or transmitted in plaintext.
How does Password Manager authenticate users?
(1)Users may authenticate into Password Manager as follows:
- On the web portal:
- By typing their current password to a trusted system (e.g., Windows/AD, LDAP, RAC/F, etc).
- By answering security questions.
- Using a security token (e.g., SecurID pass-code).
- Using a smart card with PKI certificate.
- Using Windows-integrated authentication.
- Using a SAML assertion issued by another server.
- By typing a PIN that was sent to their mobile phone via SMS.
- Using a combination of these mechanisms.
- Using a telephone, calling an automated IVR system:
- By keying in numeric answers to a series of security questions (e.g., employee number, date of hire, driver's license number).
- By speaking one or more phrases, where the Password Manager server compares the new speech sample to one on record (biometric voice print verification)
- Using a telephone, calling an IT support technician:
- By answering a series of security questions, where the technician must type the answers into a web portal to authenticate the caller.
How does Password Manager get challenge/response data for non-password authentication?
Users can authenticate to Password Manager by answering security questions, where the data is stored in the Password Manager identity cache or on an existing system (e.g., Oracle, LDAP, mainframe, etc.)
If the data is stored in Password Manager, then it is normally encrypted using 128-bit AES and a server-designated key. Password Manager will use its own methods to retrieve the challenge/response data.
If the data is stored on an existing system, then Password Manager runs a plug-in program to retrieve and validate the data when it is required. Out of the box, Password Manager comes with a plug-in that is capable of retrieving questions and answers from an LDAP directory or AD and another that works with SQL Server.
Can one user "claim" another user's login ID?
To attach an existing login account, with a non-standard ID, to their user profile, a user can enroll. This is done by entering an ID and password combination for that account into an enrollment page in the Password Manager portal.
The process to register or "claim" user IDs in Password Manager is as follows:
- Password Manager portal: asks user to authenticate using a primary credential
- User: signs in, for example with AD credentials.
- Password Manager portal: validates the password against the indicated system.
- Password Manager portal: display a list of already-attached
IDs. Ask for an additional IDs.
- User: enters his login ID and current password for a system
that does not yet appear on the list.
Note: the user does not specify which system the ID is for.
- Password Manager portal: finds instances of this ID in its
database. Eliminates already-assigned IDs. Tries to connect to
each remaining system with the credentials entered by the user.
For systems where the login was successful, adds the
system ID / login ID to the user's profile.
repeat as necessary.
Does Password Manager transmit all sensitive data encrypted?
(2)Data transmitted to and from Password Manager on the network is cryptographically protected, as illustrated by the following examples:
|Data transmitted to/from the Password Manager server|
|User browser||SSL (varies)||128 bits.|
|Trigger password synchronization|
|From Win2K/2K3 AD DC||128-bit AES||128-bit shared secret.|
|From LDAP server|
|Set passwords, Create/update users|
|To SSH scripted target||SSH||Varies by SSH configuration|
|To Unix agent||128-bit AES||128-bit shared secret.|
|To z/OS task|
|To RSA Authentication Manager|
|To proxy server|
|API Session - socket|
|From calling system / IVR||128-bit AES||128-bit shared secret.|
|API Session - web services|
|From calling system / IVR||HTTPS||128 bits.|
|Set passwords, Create/update users|
|To target system||native||Varies. Use proxy server when native protocol is inadequate.|
Does Password Manager store all sensitive data encrypted?
Encryption is used to protect stored Password Manager data as follows:
|Data stored on the Password Manager server|
|Privileged passwords, used to log into target systems||128-bit AES||128-bit random|
|Answers to security questions||128-bit AES||128-bit random|
|User old password history||SHA-1||64-bit random salt|