A one-time password (OTP) is the password used in a credential pair that is valid for only one login session or transaction. OTPs are used to minimize the risks of traditional, static password-based authentication by making them variable per operation. As an added layer of security, OTP implementations can also incorporate two-factor authentication (2FA) to help verify the identity of the individual using an additional trusted source.
The most significant benefit that is addressed by OTPs compared to unmanaged passwords is that they are not vulnerable to replay attacks. In other words, a threat actor who manages to capture an OTP used for a valid session cannot reuse it since it is no longer valid for future sessions or operations. OTPs themselves are typically random and also not susceptible to pattern-based password attacks, nor dictionary attacks. This makes them ideal for some of the most secure and privileged activities needed within an organization.
BeyondTrust Password Safe is designed to automatically manage and rotate passwords across enterprises. The randomization of individual account passwords can be configured for extremely complex passwords that are essentially not human readable (assuming the resource supports the complexity and length). In addition, the BeyondTrust privileged password management solution allows for only a single checkout instance of a password, and that once a session is complete, the password is automatically rotated until the next session request is granted.
In essence, Password Safe allows for OTP for any privileged account session and can also be used with 2FA to provide a high confidence level of the user’s identity. The simple feature, “Change password after any release” provides this functionality and is illustrated in the screenshot below:
If you consider the benefits of OTPs and Password Safe, every customer can enhance their security posture by providing a unique password for every session and every single connection. This is a very simple security model, but incredibly effective in stopping a threat actor from compromising accounts within your environment using attacks that leverage static (or stale) passwords.
For more information on how Password Safe can help manage your privileged accounts, contact us for a demo.
Morey J. Haber, Chief Technology Officer and Chief Information Security Officer at BeyondTrust
Morey J. Haber is Chief Technology Officer and Chief Information Security Officer at BeyondTrust. He has more than 25 years of IT industry experience and has authored four Apress books: Privileged Attack Vectors (2 Editions), Asset Attack Vectors, and Identity Attack Vectors. In 2018, Bomgar acquired BeyondTrust and retained the BeyondTrust name. He originally joined BeyondTrust in 2012 as a part of the eEye Digital Security acquisition. Morey currently oversees BeyondTrust strategy for privileged access management and remote access solutions. In 2004, he joined eEye as Director of Security Engineering and was responsible for strategic business discussions and vulnerability management architectures in Fortune 500 clients. Prior to eEye, he was Development Manager for Computer Associates, Inc. (CA), responsible for new product beta cycles and named customer accounts. He began his career as Reliability and Maintainability Engineer for a government contractor building flight and training simulators. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.