The RSA SecureID two factor authentication device is a hard token that provides the user a one time password (OTP) in order to authenticate the user against an account. RSA two factor authentication is designed to be tamper resistant and to discourage attempts at reverse engineering - which serves to make it a very secure form of authentication. Most RSA two factor authentication mechanisms are small enough to fit on a keychain, which makes them portable and easy to carry around.
The way RSA works is when a user tries to access their account they are prompted for a unique password. After the user puts in the unique password, they will then be prompted for the OTP on their RSA device. The OTP is generated in plain-text on the SecurID token and remains valid for only a single use (hence the OTP aspect). Once the password and OTP have been verified by PortalGuard, the user is granted access to the account or application in question.
PortalGuard can be set up so that users are able to enable RSA two factor authentication for their own accounts. All that they need is a functioning RSA device so that they can input their OTP whenever the need arises to make for a more secure environment.
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This paper takes a deep dive into the importance of identity management in the modern world, the usefulness of Active Directory, and its benefits for environments of any shape and size.