High-Level Authentication Flows for the Cloud Authentication Service

This topic describes:

High-Level Authentication Flows for Relying Parties

The following sections illustrate how the Cloud Authentication Service authenticates a user for a relying party. A relying party is one of the following third-party SSO solutions or web applications:

  • A service provider, using SAML 2.0
  • Microsoft Azure Active Directory, using OpenID Connect (OIDC)

Relying parties use the Cloud Authentication Service as the Authorization Server or the identity provider (IdP) for managing authentication.

For service providers, the Cloud Authentication Service can manage only additional (step-up) authentication or both primary authentication (for example, user ID and password) and additional authentication. For Azure Active Directory, the Cloud Authentication Service can manage only additional authentication.

Example: Relying Party Primary Authentication and Cloud Authentication Service Additional Authentication

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In this example, a SAML service provider manages primary authentication and the Cloud Authentication Service manages additional authentication. The administrator has configured an additional access policy that requires Approve or Authenticate Tokencode.

  1. The user enters sign-in credentials (for example, user ID and password) to access App A (the SP).
  2. The SP confirms the user's credentials and sends an additional authentication request to the Cloud Authentication Service.
  3. The Cloud Authentication Service determines the additional authentication policy to use and prompts the user for additional authentication (Approve or Authenticate Tokencode).
  4. The user completes the Approve authentication method.
  5. The Cloud Authentication Service verifies the Approve.
  6. The Cloud Authentication Service notifies the SP that authentication for the user ID succeeded.
  7. The user accesses App A.

Example: Cloud Authentication Service Primary and Additional Authentication

securid_ngx_g_clouid_idp_flow_all_auth.png

In this example, the Cloud Authentication Service manages both primary and additional authentication for Apps A and B. For both applications, the administrator has configured SecurID Token as the primary authentication method and has selected an access policy for additional authentication with a Medium assurance level of SecurID Token and Approve.

  1. The user tries to access App A (the SP).
  2. The SP sends the user's authentication request to the Cloud Authentication Service.
  3. The Cloud Authentication Service determines that both primary and additional authentication are required, determines the configured primary authentication method and the access policy for additional authentication, and prompts the user for primary authentication.
  4. The user enters user ID and SecurID passcode.
  5. The Cloud Authentication Service verifies the primary authentication.
  6. The Cloud Authentication Service prompts the user to complete the Approve authentication method.

    The assurance level requires SecurID Token and Approve but because the user completed SecurID Token authentication as part of primary authentication, the Cloud Authentication Service only prompts the user for Approve for additional authentication.

  7. The user completes the Approve authentication method.
  8. The Cloud Authentication Service verifies the additional authentication.
  9. The Cloud Authentication Service notifies the SP that authentication for the user ID succeeded.
  10. The user accesses App A.
  11. The user tries to access App B (another SP).
  12. Steps 2- 9 are repeated.
  13. The user accesses App B.

High-Level Authentication Flow for RADIUS for the Cloud Authentication Service

Note: All identity router platforms support RADIUS authentication, except when the identity router is embedded in RSA Authentication Manager 8.5 or later.

When you protect your network with RADIUS for the Cloud Authentication Service, the authentication process works as follows:

  1. The user provides authentication information to a RADIUS client, such as a VPN server or firewall.
  2. The RADIUS client sends an Access-Request message to a RADIUS server hosted on an identity router in your deployment. The request provides information about the client and the user, such as:
    • User ID
    • User password (encrypted)
    • Client ID
    • Port ID
  3. The RADIUS server validates the client using a password shared between the client and server, known as a shared secret. If the client does not provide the correct shared secret, authentication is not possible.
  4. The RADIUS server checks requirements (known as checklist attributes) that must be met for the user to access the resource. Checklist attributes may include:
    • Password
    • Clients through which the user can access a resource
    • Ports on which the user can access
  5. The RADIUS server forwards the request to the Cloud Authentication Service.
  6. The Cloud Authentication Service accepts, challenges, or rejects the request.
  7. The RADIUS server sends one of three responses to the client:
    • Access-Accept. The RADIUS server allows access and returns a set of attributes (known as return list attributes) to the client for session control.
    • Access-Challenge. The RADIUS server returns the additional (step-up) authentication methods the user must satisfy, such as Approve, Authenticate Tokencode, or SecurID Token.
    • Access-Reject. Authentication methods or policy conditions are not satisfied, so access is denied.
  8. When authentication succeeds, the RADIUS server sends return list attributes to the client to manage the user session.

RADIUS clients control user access at the network perimeter. The following figure shows how a RADIUS server runs as a service on an identity router and connects to RADIUS clients and other components in a typical deployment.

securid_radiussystem.gif

High-Level Authentication Flows for the SSO Agent

The following sections illustrate how SecurID authenticates a user for applications in a deployment with an SSO Agent. The process flow depends on the following factors:

  • If the application requires additional (step-up) authentication after the user accesses the application portal.
  • If the user has recently authenticated to another application with similar authentication requirements.

In these examples, the user accesses the applications through the SecurID Application Portal. Depending on your configuration, users can also access the applications through a custom portal or other methods (for example, a bookmark or using the application URL).

Note: All identity router platforms support the SSO Agent, except when the identity router is embedded in RSA Authentication Manager 8.5 or later.

Authentication Flow without Additional Authentication Example

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In this example, the company is using the SecurID Application Portal. The administrator has assigned an access policy to App A that does not require additional (step-up) authentication.

  1. The user enters sign-in credentials to access the SecurID Application Portal. Or, if the administrator has configured Integrated Windows Authentication (IWA), the user navigates to the portal URL and is automatically signed into the portal.
  2. The identity router checks the identity source to confirm the user's credentials and checks the access policies for all applications available to the user.
  3. The user is signed into the portal.
  4. The user clicks the App A icon to open an app.
  5. The identity router enforces the access policy for the application, which does not require the user to complete additional authentication.
  6. The identity router sends the access request to App A.
  7. The identity router opens App A in a new browser tab.
  8. The user accesses App A.

Authentication Flow with Additional Authentication and Single Sign-On Example

securid_ngx_g_flow_stepup_573x458.png

In this example, the company is using the SecurID Application Portal. The administrator has assigned an access policy that uses the Low assurance level to App B and App C. (An assurance level defines the authentication methods required to access applications during additional authentication.)

  1. The user enters sign-in credentials to access the SecurID Application Portal. Or, if the administrator has configured IWA, the user navigates to the portal URL and is automatically signed in to the portal.
  2. The identity router checks with the identity source to confirm the user's credentials and checks the access policies for all applications available to the user.
  3. The user is signed into the portal.
  4. The user clicks the App B icon to open the app.
  5. The identity router enforces the access policy for App B. App B requires additional authentication using the Low assurance level (Approve authentication method).
  6. Because additional authentication is required, the identity router sends the request to the Cloud Authentication Service.
  7. In a new browser tab, SecurID provides instructions in the browser for the user to follow and sends a notification to the SecurID Authenticate.
  8. The user taps Approve in the Authenticator to complete authentication.
  9. The Authenticator sends the response to the Cloud Authentication Service.
  10. The Cloud Authentication Service sends the authentication status to the identity router.
  11. The identity router sends the access request to App B.
  12. The identity router opens App B.
  13. The user accesses App B.
  14. In the application portal, the user clicks the App C icon to open the app.
  15. The identity router enforces the access policy for App C. App C also uses the Low assurance level. Because the user's session is still active from authenticating to App B (which uses the same assurance level as App C), the user does not need to provide the additional authentication required by App C.
  16. The identity router sends the access request to App C.
  17. In a new browser tab, SecurID opens App C.
  18. The user accesses App C.