AWS Adds Multi-Factor Authentication to WorkSpaces

Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS) gave its Amazon WorkSpaces product another layer of security this week with the addition of multi-factor authentication.

WorkSpaces, which became generally available this past spring, is the AWS cloud-based virtualized desktop solution. Through integration with Microsoft Active Directory, users can log into WorkSpaces using their existing corporate user names and passwords.

The new support for multi-factor authentication announced on Monday will now let administrators require a second set of security credentials from users.

"Once this new feature has been enabled and configured, WorkSpaces users will log in by entering their Active Directory user name and password followed by an OTP (One-Time Passcode) supplied by a hardware or a software token," explained AWS Evangelist Jeff Barr in a blog post.

AWS has tested the multi-factor authentication feature on Symantec VIP and Microsoft Radius Server, Barr said, though it is compatible with any on-premises server that supports the RADIUS protocol.

AWS provides details for enabling multi-factor authentication here. The capability is immediately available at no extra cost. (The WorkSpaces solution itself costs between $35 and $75 in the United States, depending on the plan.)

Amazon plans to "enhance" the multi-factor authentication capability in the future, Barr said, though he didn't elaborate on what those improvements might entail. However, he indicated that the company plans to eventually add support for authentication via smart cards and certificates.

About the Author

Gladys Rama (@GladysRama3) is the editorial director of Converge360.


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