WatchGuard’s cloud-enabled AuthPoint solution delivers multi-factor authentication to SMBs

WatchGuard unveiled AuthPoint – a cloud-based multi-factor authentication (MFA) solution designed for small and midsize businesses (SMBs).

MFA has always been out of reach for SMBs due to cost, complexity and management issues, until now. In fact, according to a new survey of IT managers and professionals conducted by independent market research firm CITE Research, 61 percent of respondents from companies with under 1,000 employees believe MFA services are reserved for large enterprises.

WatchGuard’s AuthPoint addresses these authentication concerns by eliminating the complex integration processes, up-front expenses, and on-premises management requirements.

“We know that a massive portion of data breaches involve lost credentials, and since cyber criminals target organizations of any size, MFA is now a prerequisite for all businesses,” said Alex Cagnoni, director of Authentication at WatchGuard.

“In the absence of MFA, cyber criminals can utilize a variety of techniques to acquire usernames and passwords, such as spear phishing, social engineering, and buying stolen credentials on the dark web, to gain network access and then steal valuable company and customer data. With AuthPoint, we’re breaking down longstanding barriers between SMBs and MFA adoption with a solution that is affordable, easy to deploy, and vastly scalable – all of which is made possible by WatchGuard’s cloud-based approach to authentication.”

WatchGuard’s AuthPoint solution is a cloud service that can be deployed and managed from any location without the need for expensive hardware components. The service relies on WatchGuard’s AuthPoint app to facilitate user authentication. As the MFA solution for SMBs, AuthPoint’s features include:

  • AuthPoint App – Once downloaded and activated on a user’s smartphone, WatchGuard’s AuthPoint app enables users to view and manage any login attempts – by way of push notifications, one-time passwords or QR code entries for those in offline scenarios. Additionally, the app is equipped to store third-party authenticators such as Google Authenticator, Facebook access, Dropbox, and more.
  • Mobile Device DNA – WatchGuard uses an approach to user authentication called Mobile Device DNA that distinguishes cloned login attempts from legitimate ones. The AuthPoint app creates personalized “DNA” signatures for users’ devices and adds them to the authentication calculation. The result is that authentication messages not originating from a legitimate user’s phone will be rejected.
  • Cloud-based Management – As a cloud-based solution, the AuthPoint service comes with a interface for businesses to view reports and alerts, and configure and manage deployments. Enabled from the cloud, AuthPoint requires no on-premises equipment, which cuts down on costly deployment and management activities.
  • Third-Party Integrations – WatchGuard’s ecosystem includes dozens of 3rd party integrations with AuthPoint. This allows companies to mandate that users undergo the authentication process before accessing sensitive cloud applications, VPNs and networks. Moreover, AuthPoint supports the SAML standard, allowing users to log on once to access a full range of applications and services.

“Cloud-based multifactor authentication (MFA) services provide an alternative to on-premises products for MSEs to implement strong authentication. MFA provides mitigation against account takeover and can significantly reduce the risk of phishing attacks. These services potentially provide total cost of ownership (TCO) benefits over legacy on-premises software or hardware deployments. Further, TCO benefits can accrue from choice of modern authentication methods (such as phone-as-a-token methods) that also provide good security combined with improved user experience.” Gartner: Midsize Enterprise Playlist: Security Actions That Scale, by Neil Wynne, James A. Browning, Published: 10 May 2018 ID: G00355786

“With the launch of AuthPoint, WatchGuard has smartly extended its product portfolio with a vital security offering that is often overlooked by SMBs, and done so in a channel-friendly way that is easy to sell, deploy, and manage,” said Greg Shanton, vice president of CyberSecurity at Neovera.

“AuthPoint’s cloud-based architecture means we can easily onboard new customers, allocate licenses, segment permissions, and report on their activity from a single, easy-to-use interface. It’s evident throughout the entire experience that AuthPoint was built keeping both the success of its channel partners, and the security of our mutual customers in mind.”

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