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The Challenges of Pairing a Security Solution with SharePoint


With the popularity of SharePoint extranet websites on the rise, the need for comprehensive portal security is ever more apparent.  Having a secure SharePoint login entryway is your first line of defense between your data and unauthorized users, but there can be the ever-ready challenge of security vs. usability.

What is SharePoint?

SharePoint is an integrated platform that has widely becoming a popular staple for many companies, allowing them to build their own homegrown websites that works within their intranet and allows their employees to easily access the information they need. Also, it can be extended to cover third party contractors and other individuals that work with an organization but are not part of the company’s intranet. Allowing external SharePoint users to access these sites is where things can get a little tricky, there is a dire need to keep the information secure but also make it easy enough for authorized users to access.

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Security vs. Usability

Providing high security is always important; however, making your end-user jump through hoops when entering your SharePoint portal can bottleneck productivity and create an unneeded stress. Then again, if you make your entry portal too weak it can lead to unwanted hackers stealing your information.

Now you are faced with the balancing act of security and usability that a homegrown security solution may not be best equipped to handle. Furthermore, registering and keeping track of the third party users can be a challenge in itself.

Combining Usability and Security

As a portal manager or developer looking at this situation, you can identify where things could quickly get sticky. Building a SharePoint site is going to save your company money because you would not need to buy into a pre-fab solution that would need modification to fit your needs. This internally hosted SharePoint site would also allow the site to grow with the companies ever changing needs.

Protecting the information on your SharePoint server should not be something that keeps you up at night. There are easy ways to protect that information and still provide easy access to authorized users. By deploying different security features like Two-Factor Authentication and/or Single Sign-on, you can protect the information in a way that is easy to manage and even easier for the end user to access.

Identify Your Needs

It is important to identify your needs and educate yourself on the different portal security options there are available for your environment. Once you have identified your needs, you will need to find a solution that is effective and won’t break the bank. A growing number of companies are finding a trusted partner in authentication leader PortalGuard. The turnkey user authentication solution-set that PortalGuard offers for SharePoint will add the needed security and provide the flexibility to adapt to any environment’s needs.

For more information on PortalGuard for SharePoint and to download their new solution guide, click here.

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Rob Bellefeuille

Author: Rob Bellefeuille

Rob is a Project Manager at PistolStar, Inc. in Bedford, NH. Upon completing his degree in Advertising from Southern New Hampshire University, he gained experience working in marketing in the greater Boston area. His current position has him focusing on bringing authentication solutions to education institutions and retailers worldwide.

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