Hiring contractors is commonplace, but how do you onboard a contractor into your organization?
Like employees, contractors introduce security risks.
So whenever a contractor authenticates into the organization, do you have any assurance that it is the contractor you hired, or someone else working on their behalf, or a hacker?
1Kosmos BlockID, integrated with Saviynt Third Party Access Governance, quickly moves you toward a Zero-Trust model, where ‘never trust, always verify’ results from the combined solutions. 1Kosmos BlockID proves who somebody is, verifying users using biometrics, and eliminates inherent risks contractors introduce.
In addition, Saviynt Third Party Access Governance manages the identity life cycle, entitlements, and the governance of these third-party identities.
Identity and access management has gone essentially unchanged since the introduction of the password nearly 60 years ago. However, with the countless breaches happening, over 60% of those are due to a compromised credential – user name and password. So now, we see an inflection point where there is a push to eliminate passwords and move to passwordless authentication to solve the problem. The thought is, when moving to a passwordless model, an organization will eliminate the user name and password issue. But the truth is, passwordless authentication is still based on a user name and password. So really, the current approach is still based on the weakest link.
To reach true passwordless authentication, organizations need to look beyond simply moving to a passwordless infrastructure and move to identity-based access control. This means bolstering authentication with an identity-proofed login so that administrators for the first time will know, with certainty, who is accessing corporate IT networks. This differentiation will verify the user with identity-based biometrics at each access request, eliminate passwords, improve security and deliver a true passwordless experience.
Internally there are likely measures in place to validate a new employee, but what about contractors? A new contractor rarely follows the same onboarding and enrollment as a new employee. And for that reason, whenever a contractor authenticates into the organization, there is no way of knowing that it is the contractor brought in or someone else working on their behalf.
As a result, organizations need to address three security issues:
- The establishment of the username/password creates a vulnerability, as the manager and the admin both see the username/password before the contractor can reset
- Securely enroll and onboard the contractor to a passwordless environment
- Eliminate the potential contractor jacking
The 1Kosmos BlockID solution digitally transforms the standard HR process for onboarding employees or contractors, delivering the highest degree of end-user assurance. This transformation eliminates the need for new workers to share copies of government IDs, protects their privacy, and automates the onboarding process for new and existing contractors. By binding the contractor’s proofed identity, 1Kosmos BlockID creates an identity-based biometric authentication and a passwordless experience. Contractors will utilize their trusted mobile device for daily authentication and step-up authentication for physical or logical access.
As a result, 1Kosmos eliminates what can be referred to as: ‘contractor jacking.’ When a contractor starts on day one, they may be the person you interviewed, but you have no idea who that is on day two. As a result, contractors have been known to sub out their seat to somebody cheaper and pocket the savings. And now, not only do you not get the person you hired, but you have extra security exposures because you didn’t do a background check on that person. So our approach to digital onboarding and enrollment of new contractors ensures each access event is associated with a real, verified identity, ensuring it’s the hired contractor and not someone else.
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Third-Party Access Governance
Managing non-employee onboarding without a centralized process is a challenge that leads to a variety of different workflows. Setting up accounts and granting permissions are inconsistent across the board. Without a direct means of flagging accounts as temporary or mapping them back to their respective sponsors, orphaned accounts can persist well beyond their acceptable lifespan, creating challenges for maintaining compliance. Additionally, visibility into the full scope of the onboarded vendor’s access must be maintained in the system to ensure compliance.
If these third parties are left unchecked, the decentralized system cannot assure appropriate usage of access or follow-up, and the user’s access is still active. To combat these risks, organizations must have a consistent methodology for onboarding vendors, ensuring full visibility into an identities access, and managing the lifecycle of their access from onboarding to decommissioning.
Many modern organizations require the use of contractors or vendors, known as third parties. Managing these non-employees through the HR system, the authoritative identity source for their IT ecosystem is burdensome. In addition, third-party individuals often require access to organizational resources such as shared tools, applications, or data sets to provide critical services. But that access is often for a limited period.
Third parties present challenges and bring additional risks, such as ensuring that access is managed correctly and, when required, deprovisioned quickly. Saviynt plays a key role in helping many organizations simplify the vendor access management process and reduce non-employee risks. A robust vendor access management from the Saviynt Platform helps reduce these risks utilizing a sponsor-based approach to vendor access. Automation, access request, risk visibility, and access review are provided by Saviynt throughout the process of onboarding third parties and managing these identities throughout their lifecycle.
The integration of Third-Party Access Governance and Identity Based Authentication
A new worker has to be verified before they are granted access to the infrastructure, and that access comes with a host of entitlements. But the gap remains: who verifies and who onboards the identity? As we’ve discussed, the need for combining strong identity assurance with strong third-party access governance is a logical approach to managing this common but poorly addressed issue.
How it works
Saviynt TPAG is integrated with BlockID through the Universal Web Login interface that aids in the proofing and secure collection of PII data necessary for a contractor’s automated onboarding. The UWL interface automates the API calls that need to be made from Saviynt into the BlockID platform and the mobile app where the user would proof themselves. Through the partnership between 1Kosmos and Saviynt, the utility extends into account claiming through magic links that enable day zero onboarding of contractors through a high degree of assurance per NIST 800-63-3 standards. Saviynt, through its plethora of target connectors, can provision accounts and access into both on-premise and cloud systems seamlessly. The applications themselves are integrated either with BlockID directly or with an IDP, thereby enabling a newly onboarded user to login into critical applications without ever needing a password while preserving security through true
biometric authentication from a registered device.
1Kosmos BlockID is built with specific capabilities for the onboarding, verification, and authentication of employees and contractors within the confines of the workplace. In this instance, 1Kosmos will validate the contractor onboarding and enrollment into the organization, leveraging Saviynt Third-Party Access Governance as their identity provider. The reference diagram illustrates how the two solutions work together but let’s dig deeper into it.
- The manager initiates the new hire. A new contractor is entered, and onboarding is initiated through Saviynt Third-Party Access Governance.
- Saviynt Third-Party Access Governance generates and sends an email to the new contractor with onboarding instructions.
- The contractor downloads 1Kosmos BlockID app or a custom app integrated with 1Kosmos BlockID API from AppStore or Google Play.
- The BlockID Platform instructs the contractor to scan government-issued documents to proof themselves to and verify their identity to IAL2.
- The contractor clicks the link in the email to start the onboarding process. The link displays a QR code generated by 1Kosmos BlockID for the contractor to begin sharing their proofed identity.
- The new contractor is asked to provide consent through biometrics (1Kosmos LiveID) for sharing their PII data with Saviynt Third-Party Access Governance.
- The captured documents are encrypted by the BlockID Platform and are sent to Saviynt Third-Party Access Governance.
- 6 Saviynt Third-Party Access Governance decrypts documents and creates a record for the hiring manager to approve onboarding.
- 7 Saviynt Third-Party Access Governance sends an email to the hiring manager to log in, view, and approve onboarding.
User Access Grant
- Saviynt Third-Party Access Governance creates an account and access in Microsoft Active Directory for O365 or an Enterprise IDP.
- 2 Saviynt Third-Party Access Governance sends a request to 1Kosmos BlockID Platform to generate a magic link for the contractor enrollment and account claiming.
- Saviynt Third-Party Access Governance sends the new contractor an account claiming invite email with a magic link generated by the 1Kosmos BlockID platform.
- The new contractor clicks the magic link and is challenged to provide MFA in BlockID mobile app through an OTP by email or SMS.
- The contractor enterprise account is enrolled and bound to the contractor’s mobile device within the mobile app.
- The contractor, on their first day, will log in to O365.
- Office O365 or Enterprise IDP will trigger access with a SAML redirect to the BlockID Platform.
- 3 The contractor will be challenged with a QR code. The contractor will scan the QR code with the 1Kosmos BlockID mobile app or custom app and is asked to provide their biometrics for access.
- The contractor provides their LiveID.
- The 1Kosmos BlockID Platform sends the authentication information to O365 or Enterprise IDP via a SAML response.
- The contractor is now logged in.
The Business Outcomes
Saviynt defines third-party access governance as managing nonemployees, managing the identities and access entitlements of a partner, affiliate, volunteer, contractor, or vendor. Ultimately, most organizations have many contractors within their environments and have access to the infrastructure, applications, and data. The Saviynt Third Party Access Governance solution manages the life cycle, the onboarding, the entitlements, the governance of these third-party identities and, their authentication. 1Kosmos improves these capabilities by delivering a distributed digital identity platform that is both FIDO2 and NIST certified.
1Kosmos transforms the Saviynt Third Party Access Governance onboarding process. The result is the highest degree of identity assurance for new contractors. By binding contractors to their proofed identity, 1Kosmos BlockID creates an identity-based biometric authentication and a passwordless experience. Contractors will utilize their trusted mobile device for physical or logical daily authentication and step-up authentication required for privileged activities. As a result, each access event is associated with a real, verified identity.
When 1Kosmos BlockID is integrated with Saviynt Third Party Access Governance, you quickly move toward a Zero-Trust model, where ‘never trust, always verify’ results from the combined solutions. 1Kosmos BlockID provides the proof of who somebody is, verifying users using biometrics, and will eliminate the contractor jacking highlighted above. In addition, Saviynt Third Party Access Governance manages the identity life cycle, entitlements, and the governance of these third-party identities.
Combining the technologies from1Kosmos and Saviynt addresses the challenges organizations face dealing with contractors. Organizations will manage the identity governance of contractors, securely enroll and onboard the contractor to a passwordless environment, eliminating user names and passwords and eliminating contractor jacking potential. Overall, organizations will eliminate the extra security exposures contractors introduce.