Tools such as Group Policy Objects (GPO) in Active Directory make it easy to enforce consistent authentication...
By submitting your personal information, you agree that TechTarget and its partners may contact you regarding relevant content, products and special offers.
polices for all members of the Active Directory domain.
In addition, directory services have centralized reporting features for auditing user activity and for producing access management reports required for compliance with regulations like the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX).
Another nice feature of directory services is they can mesh with two-factor authentication systems – one-time password (OTP) tokens, smart cards and biometrics. For stand-alone systems, such configuration would have to be done on each individual workstation.
Using stand-alone authentication systems makes it harder to centralize access management across an organization. It can lead to inconsistent access management policies on different workstations in a network, which would be chaotic in a large company with many users. It would also make tracking users and their access -- and removing stale accounts -- quite difficult.
The only advantage to standalone authentication systems would be if there were only a few desktops or workstations, as in a small company, or for specialized access that needs to be segregated from the rest of the network. A possible scenario would be a workstation dedicated to high-risk transactions or for unique access to an external network.
Unless the cost of Active Directory is prohibitive because of the size of your business, standalone setups aren't recommended.
Dig Deeper on Password management and policy
Related Q&A from Joel Dubin
After a server room door has been compromised, finding a more secure solution is of utmost importance. Learn how to choose a server room door that ...continue reading
In the IAM world, what's the difference between access control and identity management. This IAM expert response explains how the two relate as well ...continue reading
When working with PeopleSoft and Unix, which single sign-on (SSO) vendors offer the most effective products? Learn how to choose an SSO product in ...continue reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.