How to use your Phone for Google Authenticator and Passwordstate

We often receive support requests asking how to enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) in addition to AD Authentication.  This is a straight forward process and the 2FA options can be used with Single-Sign-On (SSO), Manual AD Authentication and even with Local Passwordstate Accounts.

Background

There are a couple of approaches that can be used to set this up.  For the examples in this week’s blog I’m going to be using the Google Authenticator App from an iPhone and a Local Passwordstate Account.  These examples will work equally well with AD Accounts, the only difference being the required Authentication Options under Administration->System Settings->authentication options->Choose Authentication Option

I normally choose SSO (Passthrough AD Authentication) for the System Wide Authentication setting, as I quickly jump in and out of my Passwordstate Sandpit environment.  For the purpose of doing this blog I’ve dropped back to Manual AD Authentication as I’m logging into Passwordstate with 2 accounts from the same computer. 

Create a User Account Policy for 2FA with Google Authentication

Using a User Account Policy is a great way to both test the 2FA configuration as well as making it easier to rollout across your intended users. 

Navigate to Administration->User Account Policies and click Add to create a new Policy.  Give the policy a name and description and select the Authentication method you want to assign at A6.  In the example blow I’ve used Manual AD and Google Authenticator, then click Save at the bottom of the page,

Apply the User Account Policy to Users

Next, you’ll need to apply the newly created User Account Policy to Users.  Select the Action button next to the Policy Name, click and select Apply Policy to Users,

Now select the users you want to apply this User Account Policy to.  In the below example I’m using a single account for testing purposes.  Once you happy it’s working you can go back in and apply it to Security Groups as required

Now when I log into Passwordstate for the first time after the policy has been applied, I’ll be presented with a normal login screen,

And on clicking on logon will be presented with,

I now need to use the Google Authenticator App and select the + symbol to add an Authenticator, pick Scan barcode and place the QR code that is presented above within the onscreen frame.  This will then setup the Authenticator and present back the PIN code that needs to be entered.

Simply enter this in the Google Verification Code and click Login.

Once you’re happy you can Apply the User Account Policy to the required Security Groups to rollout the policy.

Using SSO with 2FA & Google Authentication

As stated at the beginning you can use 2FA with both SSO (Passthrough AD Authentication) and Manual AD Authentication.  The only differences being that with SSO you only need to ensure your System Wide Settings under Administration->System Settings->authentication options->Choose Authentication Option is set to Passthrough AD Authentication, and the Authentication Option you specify at Setting A6 in your User Account Policy is set to just Google Authenticator as per the below image;

This will in effect Prompt for your Google Authenticator credentials during the Passthrough Process.  It is highly recommended that you don’t roll this configuration out to all users as it defeats the purpose of having SSO.  Rather you should reserve it for those users that have access to highly privileged password credentials or those accounts associated with considerable impact if the credentials were stolen or misused.

As always, we welcome your feedback via support@clickstudios.com.au.

RDP and SSH Sessions to Remote Hosts

Click Studios introduced the Browser Based Remote Session Launcher back in Passwordstate 8.2 – Build 8275 (March 2018).  When combined with our Remote Site Locations module customers have the ability to use our first-in-class Browser Based Remote Access solution, over RDP and SSH, to connect to machines located on a remote network.

The primary functionality provided by the Remote Site Locations Module, is to allow your existing Passwordstate Instance provide Privileged Account Management (PAM), for networks firewalled on either your internal network or over the Internet. 

However, when using the Remote Site Locations module with the Browser Based Remote Session Launcher, customers have the ability to establish RDP and SSH sessions to systems hosted on the remote network.  This offers a significant advantage for larger customers and Managed Service Providers, in that it provides a zero-additional-cost remote access solution, for connecting to remote hosts with full auditing, session recording and requires no client agent deployments.

Requirements and Architecture

As outlined above your Passwordstate instance will require the Remote Site Locations module with a current subscription for the number of remote sites that you wish to manage.  Pricing for the Remote Site Locations modules can be found here.  Please ensure you contact sales@clickstudios.com.au to ensure your price for the subscription is co-termed with your existing Annual Support and Upgrade Protection expiry date.

The architecture required for deployments is straightforward.  In the example below we have a fictitious customer with a requirement for PAM on a remote firewalled network, with access to that network via the internet.  In this example they already have a Passwordstate Instance and would require;

  • A Remote Site Locations module subscription for 1 site, co-termed to their Passwordstate Annual Support and Upgrade Protection expiry date,
  • Installation of the Remote Site Locations agent on a server at the remote site,
  • Installation of the Browser Based Gateway on the same server as the Remote Site Locations agent,
  • A functioning external DNS record which can redirect traffic to the Remote Site firewall,
  • One open port on the firewall and ability to forward HTTPS traffic to the Server that has the Remote Site Locations agent and Browser Based Gateway installed on it.

In the diagram below we have installed both the Remote Site Locations agent and the Browser Based Gateway at the remote site, opened up a single port 7273 on the remote firewall to enable communication between the Passwordstate Instance and the Remote Site Agent.

Full instructions for the installation of both the Remote Site Agent and the Browser Based Gateway can be found in the Passwordstate Remote Site Agent Manual located here.

Benefits

The Browser Based Remote Session Launcher is not intended to be a feature for feature competitor with the likes of TeamViewer, AnyDesk or LogMeIn.  Rather it is functionality that is included within the Passwordstate Core and Remote Site Locations offerings.

By using the solution outlined above, you can achieve the following benefits and potential cost savings;

  • Remote hosts do not require to have an agent installed on them,
  • Encryption of traffic, between your Passwordstate Instance and the Remote Site agent, using advanced InTransit Encryption keys (no possibility of a data breach),
  • Secure RDP and SSH sessions to any host located on the remote network,
  • Only one port is required to be opened on the remote firewall, restricted to traffic between the Passwordstate Instance and the Remote Site agent’s IP addresses,
  • Native integration between the PAM functionality provided by Passwordstate and this Remote Access Solution e.g.  control who can access what remote systems, audit these accesses, restrict and even hide the password credentials for the remote systems etc.,
  • Retain full control over the use of remote access and the required remote system credentials,
  • Full auditing on who launched a Remote Session, to which Host, from what IP Address, and using which specific authentication credentials,
  • Session recording and playback to enable investigation into any suspicious activity during remote access,
  • Make potentially substantial savings by removing the cost of your existing Remote Access solution.

It should be pointed out that this functionality is intended for System Administrators managing remote systems.  The solution does not provide Screen Sharing, so it is not suitable for situations where you are either watching or showing end users how to use end devices or applications.

As always, your feedback is welcome via support@clickstudios.com.au

Password Protection for Cloud Accounting

Passwordstate is trusted by more than 29,000 Customers and 370,000 Security & IT Professionals around the world, with an install base spanning from the largest of enterprises, including many Fortune 500 companies, to the smallest of IT shops.  This week’s Blog references some content from an article published by David Walker for CPA’s online magazine INTHEBLACK in late 2019.  The article can be viewed here.

The Importance of Aligning to Industry Standards

Strong password protection is an essential element of an organisation’s Cyber Security controls.  This not only includes implementing a capability like Passwordstate but also extends to ensuring there is an understanding by employees on why it needs to be used, how it should be used and in the ongoing review of who has access to and is using your privileged accounts. 

Whilst there are a number of Standards that can be adopted, I’ve used the NIST Cybersecurity Framework Version 1.1 for this blog.  Using the NIST Framework, you may have;

  • Identified the importance of your privileged accounts in the support of critical business functions, and,
  • Protected these privileged accounts through the implementation of Passwordstate.

However, the story doesn’t end there.  You still need to implement ongoing user awareness and training on the importance of managing your password credentials.  This needs to be supported by appropriate policies and procedures, and Detecting any anomalies or unusual events in the audited access of those accounts. 

Following Good Password Practices

Once you’ve got Passwordstate installed and have imported your privileged accounts there are a number of good practices that should be followed.  These practices are especially important in organisations that have a Cloud First Strategy e.g. acquire Cloud Based services such as Cloud based Accounting in preference to locally hosted capabilities.

  • Use unique passwords
  • Only manage these passwords within Passwordstate

Use Unique Passwords

The single biggest cause of password credentials being hacked relates to daisy chaining passwords.  This is where a common username, such as your email address, is used across multiple web front-ended systems and the user chooses to use the same password for each of these systems.  All it requires is for one of these sets of password credentials to be compromised and all sets using the common username and password are now at risk of being compromised.

To prevent this all passwords should be unique.  Passwordstate provides the ability to specify a password generator policy that is used to generate all passwords for an account.  Administrators can enable a setting forcing the use of a Password Generator and by defining a Password Strength Policy.  The default Password Generator and Strength Policies can be set at a global level, or for each Password List.

Only Manage Passwords within Passwordstate

It should go without saying, to ensure your password credentials are known, accurate and secure, you need to manage them.  If your passwords are manipulated outside of Passwordstate then you cannot easily confirm what they are and who they are being used by.

To ensure your password credentials aren’t being changed outside of Passwordstate you should review accounts that fail their Heartbeat Validation.  This option is available for on-premise systems and uses a Heartbeat Validation check to confirm the password recorded in Passwordstate matches against the account on the target system.

For web front-ended systems, you should use Passwordstate’s Browser Extensions and store your credentials within an appropriate Password List.  Browser Extensions allow you to generate new passwords based on your defined Password Generator and Strength Policy.  If the password stored within Passwordstate doesn’t match the password required for that system you can confirm the last person that legitimately accessed the password credentials from the auditing table or by running a report.

Reset your Passwords Regularly

Passwordstate makes it very easy to reset your Passwords regularly by taking the option to enable password resets on a Password List’s Properties.  You can also set a default password reset schedule and new expiry dates for the Passwords.

Again, for web front-ended systems, you should setup a scheduled report to confirm what web-based password credentials need to reset.  To do this you would create a report, based on what passwords are expiring soon, and schedule it to run periodically.  You can specify the Password Lists you want to report against, as well as the length of time before those passwords expire.

2FA (two-factor authentication)

2FA is a great way to apply an additional level of protection.  It requires an additional level of authentication apart from the username and password combination to securely authenticate a user.  Passwordstate supports a range of popular 2FA options including Google Authenticator, RSA SecurID, Duo 2FA and many others outlined here.

As always, your feedback is welcome via support@clickstudios.com.au.

How to Change your Passwordstate URL

At installation time some customers elect to customize aspects of their Passwordstate installation.  By default, Passwordstate will use the Host Name of the Webserver that it is being installed on.  Alternatively, you can specify a custom URL (Uniform Resource Locator) to make it easier for users to remember the system (in case they haven’t book marked it in their favourites) or simply if you want to brand your installation.

Creating an appropriate DNS Record

In order to be able to use a custom URL you will need to create a CNAME DNS entry.  You should never try to use host files for name resolution as they do not work with Windows Authentication in Microsoft IIS (Internet Information Services).

In the following example I will be creating a custom URL for my “Sandpit” Passwordstate Instance.  This instance is used for testing out new releases, producing the blog entries and basically familiarising myself with the functionality, new and existing, in Passwordstate.  First, connect to your Windows Server hosting your DNS settings and start DNS Manager;

under Forward Lookup Zones select your Domain and create a CNAME (Canonical Name Record or Alias) as per the image below.  Note your Alias name and Fully Qualified domain name (FQDN) will be different to prbpasswordstate, and the taget host is your Passwordstate web server;

Modify your IIS Bindings

Next, you’ll need to modify the bindings in IIS to match the URL that was set in DNS Manager.  To do this login to the Webserver that your Passwordstate instance is hosted on and start Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager;

Under your Webserver, navigate to Sites and select Passwordstate from the Left-Hand pane.  In the Right-Hand pane click on Bindings… as per the image below;

When you click on edit to supply the details it’s worthwhile ensuring you use port 443 as you’ll no longer need to append the port number to the end of your URL (your Web Browser automatically adds 443 silently to your URL making it easier to remember).

Generate a new Certificate

Next, you’ll need to create a new Certificate and there are a number of options for this;

  • The Self-Signed Certificate that Passwordstate installs 
  • An internal Certificate Authority
  • A purchased Wildcard Certificate from a Certificate Authority (best option)

If you elect not to use a purchased SSL Certificate from a Certificate Authority you can still generate a more secure certificate to use on your Passwordstate website.  This will be generated by using an Internal Certificate Authority.  Please see this forum post on how to first setup an Internal Certificate Authority.  Once done you can then follow these instructions on how to generate a new Certificate from your Internal Certificate Authority.

Creating a new Self-Signed Certificate is straight forward.  On your Webserver, Run PowerShell ISE as an Administrator and ensure your PowerShell version is at least V 4.0.  To confirm what version you are running type $host into the console and you should see a response similar to below;

Next copy the following code into your Powershell ISE console, changing the URL in the second line to be your new URL (in my example it’s prbpasswordstate.halox.net) and run the script.  it will create a new Self-Signed certificate for you;

# Begin script
$URL = “prbpasswordstate.halox.net”

$PowershellVersion = $host.version.Major
 
 # Create the SSL Certificate, using different commands depending on which version of Powershell is installed.  Preferably Powershell 5, as this allows us to set a longer expiry date on the certificate
    if ($PowershellVersion -eq ‘4’)
    {
        $cert = New-SelfSignedCertificate -DnsName $URL -CertStoreLocation Cert:\LocalMachine\My    
    }
    if ($PowershellVersion -eq ‘5’)
    {
        $StartDate = ’01/01/’ + (Get-Date).Year
        $EndDate = ’01/01/’ + (Get-Date).AddYears(5).Year
        $cert = New-SelfSignedCertificate -DnsName $URL -CertStoreLocation Cert:\LocalMachine\My -FriendlyName $URL -NotBefore $StartDate -NotAfter $EndDate
    }
        
    $rootStore = New-Object System.Security.Cryptography.X509Certificates.X509Store -ArgumentList Root, LocalMachine
    $rootStore.Open(“MaxAllowed”)
    $rootStore.Add($cert)
    $rootStore.Close()

Now navigate back to IIS, go to the bindings… for the site, double-click on the https binding, and select the new SSL certificate you’ve just created from the drop-down list and click OK;

Modify Passwordstate Base URL

Lastly, you’ll need to specify the new base URL to reflect the new custom URL that you’ve set.  To do this open your Passwordstate instance and navigate to Administration->System Settings->Miscellaneous Tab and update your Base URL as per the image below;

Note that this URL is used forlinks in the emails, permalinks etc.

That’s it for this week and as always, your feedback is welcome via support@clickstudios.com.au.

Passwordstate One-Time Password Authenticator

A One-Time Password (OTP) is a password that is valid for only one login session or access transaction.  OTPs, used as part of 2FA (Two-Factor Authentication), offer an advantage in that they’re not vulnerable to replay attacks.  This means a potential intruder, who manages to record an OTP already used, will not be able to abuse it as it’s no longer valid.

Passwordstate utilizes the TOTP standard, where time is an important part of the password algorithm in addition to the Issuer and Secret keys.

Setup One-Time Password Authenticator

First, I’ve created a Shared Password List based on the One-Time Password Authenticator template by right clicking on a folder, in this case our Windows Team, and progressing through the Add Shared Password List Wizard

Next, I’ve created a Password Record for logging into Gmail for one of our staff members,

You’ll note, that by using the One-Time Password Authenticator template, the highlighted section above is automatically added to the Password Record.  In the event that you want to add the One-Time Password Authenticator to an existing record, in an existing Password List, simply go to that Password List, click on List Administrator Actions… and select Edit Password List Properties,

Then under Password List Settings, click on Enable One-Time Password Generation, and click Save & Close

Now you can configure the One-Time Password Authenticator.  You can do this via either a QR code provided by your Issuer, or by entering the Issuer details manually.  To enter a QR Code simply click on the icon of a QR code and either browse to the location of your QR Code by clicking on the select button, or, drag the QR Code over the Drop Image Here

Alternatively, you can add the details manually.  To do this you must provide both the Issuer and Secret as provided by your Issuer.  Make sure to cut and paste the Issuer and Secret into the correct fields;

You’ll notice that every time you now access that Password Record a new One-Time Password is generated for you, and refreshed based on your Valid Period (specified in seconds).

That’s all there is to it!  As always, your feedback is welcome via support@clickstudios.com.au.

Update to Remote Session Launchers

Passwordstate has two first-in-class Remote Access Solutions, typically referred to as Remote Session Launchers, a Browser Based Launcher and a Client Based Launcher.  The Remote Session Launchers are provided as part of the core Passwordstate product, with source files located in your Passwordstate install directory.  Details on the differences between the two launchers can be found here.

As of Passwordstate build 8844 we’ve introduced an Automated installation for the Remote Session Launcher Gateway.  For detailed instructions please refer to the Remote Session Launcher Install Guide.

Overview and Automated Installation Changes

Let’s talk about whether this is an automated or semi-automated installer first.  As long as you’re performing the installation on your Passwordstate Server, and are using the default installation directory, then it’s fully automated.  In the event you wish to install the Gateway on another server, or wish to change default settings, then you’ll need to perform some steps outside of this process (it then becomes a semi-automated installation).  For the steps associated with a semi-automated install please refer to the Remote Session Launcher Install Guide above.

Source files for the “Browser Based Gateway” are included with your Passwordstate installation.  They are downloaded by default and are typically located in c:\inetpub\passwordstate\hosts\gateway

Once the installation is completed all SSH and RDP sessions will be tunnelled through the Gateway, and you won’t be required to perform any client installs.  All future RDP and SSH sessions will be initiated through your HTML5 browser, from any device that can access your Passwordstate Website.

During the Installation the following changes will be performed (based on a default install on your Passwordstate Server);

  • Creates a logfile in the same directory where you execute the PowerShell script
  • Downloads OpenJDK 13 (approximately 200 MB) from Azul Systems and extracts this to C:\Program Files (x86)
  • Appends the file path C:\Program Files (x86)\OpenJDK\bin to the PATH Environment Variable
  • Adds a new Environment Variable called JAVA_HOME set to C:\Program Files (x86)\OpenJDK
  • Automatically exports your certificate from your https binding in IIS
  • Installs a Windows Service called Passwordstate-Gateway
  • Removes all temporary source files that were created during the installation

Download and Extract Files

As a general rule we’d recommend that you always grab the latest version of the source files.  These can be obtained in a ZIP file here and should be saved to a temporary folder on your Passwordstate server.  Once you’ve saved the file, you’ll need to extract the two files 7za.exe and Install-Gateway-Internal.ps1 as per the image below; 

Running the PowerShell Script

Once this has been done, you’ll need to open a GUI that can run PowerShell scripts (files ending with an extension of .ps1).  For the purpose of this blog I’m using Microsoft’s ISE (Integrated Scripting Environment).  It’s important to start ISE with Run as administrator to ensure adequate privileges as per the image below;

Once ISE has loaded, you’ll need to open the extracted PowerShell script Install-Gateway-Internal.ps1 and then either press F5 or click the Run button shown;

This will install the Remote Session Launcher Gateway and you should see the successful completion messages as per the image below;

It’s as simple as that!  All RDP and SSH sessions will now be initiated through your HTML5 browser!

As always, your feedback is welcome via support@clickstudios.com.au.

Second Sneak Peek at Passwordstate Version 9

The features, optimization and stability for Passwordstate V9 is coming along a treat.   This week’s blog aims to tease you with a couple more features designed to make your Passwordstate related work-life easier.

Settings Search Functionality

The V9 design team has looked at a number of features aimed at making the administration of Passwordstate even easier.  One of these relates to finding where a particular setting is located.  This is especially useful when trying to remember where the setting is located on one of many tabs under System Settings or Feature Access.  This Search feature has been incorporated in the following locations;

Administration->Passwordstate Administration->Feature Access

Administration->Passwordstate Administration->System Settings

Administration->Password Reset Portal Administration->System Settings

The Search Settings input field is located directly above the tabs and any criteria entered is dynamically searched for across all tabs:

In the example below, I’m searching Passwordstate Administration->System Settings for all settings related to “Password Lists”.  The drop down list returns all the Tabs and Settings relating to the search criteria, 

When you click on one of these entries you’re taken to that tab and the relevant section is highlighted as per the image below.

If this wasn’t the setting you were looking for, simply click back on the Search Settings field as the Search Results are remembered, and choose another result to navigate to that Setting.

SAML Verification Policy for Password Reset Portal

With Passwordstate V9 we’ve introduced SAML as an additional Verification Policy for our Password Reset Portal.  SAML (Security Assertion Markup Language) has become an increasingly popular choice being an open standard for exchanging authentication and authorization data between the identity provider and the service provider.

As with all Verification Policies, it is used to correctly identify a user prior to allowing them to either reset their password or unlock their Active Directory account.

…and Introducing our Mobile App

Click Studios will also be releasing its first true native app for Android and iOS devices with V9.   This has been designed from the ground up, is Secure by Design and is a complimentary offering to our existing Mobile Client.

With Biometrics Support for application access, an offline mode allowing access to an encrypted cache of credentials the user would normally have access to, all with full auditing of access that is synced back to your Passwordstate instance.

We’ve optimized the performance of the App, with access to tens of thousands of passwords almost instantaneously.  Users can also manually refresh their encrypted cache whenever they want.

Again, we hope you’re as excited about these features as we are, and as always we welcome your feedback via support@clickstudios.com.au.

Reporting When a Sensitive Password has been Viewed

As discussed in last week’s blog https://www.clickstudios.com.au/blog/passwordstate-email-notifications-explained/, Passwordstate is designed to keep Security Administrators and users informed when different events take place. Building on from that, we’ll now setup a Scheduled Report that alerts an intended audience of a Password record being viewed within a preset timeframe.

You could look at using this approach for very sensitive password credentials where you want to closely monitor when they are being used and by whom.

Password Record being Reported:

We’re going to use the following account for this blog (don’t worry it’s a fake account).  It does however provide an account to report against.  We’ve specifically set up a description field that’s meaningful as per the screenshot below;

Setting up the Report:

Next, we’ll setup a Scheduled Report which runs once every 5 minutes.  This report will only generate and send an email if the password for ClickStudiosAccount has been viewed.  If no one has viewed the password record then you won’t get an email – so no false positive emails.  Note you can schedule the duration for any period of time you like.

First you’ll need to navigate to Reports->Scheduled Reports and click on Add Report as show below;

When creating the report, on the report settings tab give it a Report Name and a Report Description (if you wish), but importantly make sure you CC in a user or a mailbox of your choice in the CC Report To field.  The report will be sent to the person creating the Scheduled Report by default but it will also CC in the mailbox specified.  Ensure you tick the option to not send the report if no results are produced, and choose the report type as Custom Auditing Report:

Next, on the schedule tab, select the frequency of One Time, click on the Generate report and specify a frequency of 5 Minutes as per the screen shot below;

and finally, on the auditing settings tab, select the Password List where the password is located, the Activity Type as Password Viewed, Query Previous for 5 minutes (of auditing activity), and enter the unique value you set in the Description field of the Password record, then click on Save Report;

This report will now run every 5 minutes, and on finding any activities matching the type of Password Viewed will email the person that setup the Scheduled Report as well as the email addresses specified on the CC line.

As always, we welcome your feedback via support@clickstudios.com.au.

Passwordstate Email Notifications Explained

Passwordstate is designed to keep Security Administrators and users informed when different events take place. This is achieved through a combination of audit records, real-time monitoring and email notifications.

With over 50 different types of email notifications, Administrators and employees can be alerted to specific events happening within Passwordstate.  This can range from a simple event, such as a user copying a password to their clipboard, to License warnings being sent to all Security Administrators.  In order to use the Email Notifications, you’ll need to configure your email server settings under Administration->System Settings->Email Alerts and Options.

By default, all Email Notifications are enabled.  If you’re not careful this can result in Passwordstate “Spamming” your users.  At Click Studios we understand how frustrating this can be and have provided the ability for you to control which emails your employees receive.  This can be configured at the Security Administrator level, allowing control over which emails other users in the system receive.  It can also be controlled by users within their own preferences.

Controlling your own Emails:

To control your own individual Email Notifications, navigate to Preferences->Email Notifications as per the screen shot below:

Now select the Actions Menu for the notification you don’t want to receive, click it and select Toggle status – Enabled or Disabled.  You’ll see the Enabled icon change from a green tick to a red cross. To change it back simply repeat the process again and you’ll see it change back to a green tick in the Enabled column.

Once disabled you’ll no longer receive these notifications.  Note that if you can’t toggle the Enabled or Disabled status then your Security Administrator has put in place settings that override your preferences.

Control which Emails are sent to specific users in the system:

As a Security Administrator you can use Email Notification Groups to specify which email notifications certain users receive, or don’t receive.  This allows you to have certain notifications enabled for Security Administrators but disabled for standard user accounts in Passwordstate.

It is important to note that any Email Notification permissions you apply here for users will override their personal settings as set under their Preferences.  It is also important to note that If you have more than one Notification Group created for a user, any disabled Email Notification will over-ride its enabled counterpart in the other Notification Groups

To create an Email Notification Group, navigate to Administration->Email Notification Groups and click Add:

Give your Notification Group a meaningful name and description (as per the example below) and click Save:

Now from the Actions Menu, select View Notifications and disable the templates of your choice.  In this example, I’ll be disabling the Copy to Clipboard Notification only:

Navigate to the Password Copied To Clipboard Notification Group, click on the Actions Menu and select Toggle status – Enabled or Disabled.  You will see the Enabled icon change from a green tick to a red cross.

Then click on Return to Notification Groups.  Next, we need to apply this to some users.  In our example we’re applying it to a Security Group called IT Staff, and all the members in this group will be assigned to this Notification Group.  Select the Actions Menu and click on View Permissions:

Then we assign the permission to the IT Staff Security Group by clicking on Security Group, searching for IT, selecting the Group from the Left Hand pane and clicking on >> then clicking Save.

With this Notification Group now active, all users contained in the IT Staff Security Group will no longer receive the Copy to Clipboard emails.

Disabling Emails globally:

Security Administrators can disable Email Templates at a global level preventing them from being used in Passwordstate.  This will disable Email Notifications even if users have them enabled under their own Preferences.  It will also override any inclusions specified as part of an Email Notification Group

To globally disable an Email Template navigate to Administration->Email Templates, choose the Email Template you wish to disable, click on the Actions Menu and select Toggle status – Enabled or Disabled.

Once you disable the email from here it cannot be sent to any user.

As always, we welcome your feedback via support@clickstudios.com.au.

Remote Sessions Without Knowing the Password

A key feature of Passwordstate is being able to automatically authenticate to remote hosts, without the need for specifying your authentication credentials manually.  This feature can be extremely useful when utilising contract staff to assist in supporting large fleets of servers and network infrastructure.  It can be used in situations where remote 3rd Party access is required by application vendors to ensure your expensive software is up to date and functioning correctly.  In this scenario, you can configure your system so the contractor doesn’t even know the password they are connecting in with.

Remote sessions are automatically audited enabling you to report on who launched a Remote Session, to which Host, from what IP Address, and using which specific authentication credentials.  This can be taken to the next level by using our browser based launcher and specifying which contractors, vendors or support staff have their Remote Sessions recorded.  This allows you to maintain a record of what actions were undertaken during each remote session.

How do you setup for establishing Remote Sessions without the user “needing to know” or having to remember complex credentials?

Setting up the Remote Session Launchers

If you are not familiar with how to set up the Remote Session Launchers, please refer to the following information,

Add an account with permissions to connect to Hosts

First, create a new Password List and give it a meaningful name.   In this example I’ve created a Password List called Remote Session Launcher Accounts under a folder called Remote Access in the root of the Passwords tab.  Next add a new Password Record, specifying an account with permission to connect into machines on your network.  The following example uses an Active Directory account which can connect to any Windows Server or Desktop.  Note, do not grant contractors, vendors or support staff permissions to see or use this Password Record!

Create a Remote Session Credential and grant access to it

Next, you’ll need to create a Remote Session Credential.  To do this navigate to Hosts->Hosts Home->Remote Session Credentials and Add Credential to create a new Remote Session Credential, ensuring it’s linked to the existing Password Record you’ve created above:

Next, you need to grant your contractors, vendors or support staff access to the Remote Session Credential you have just created by selecting the action icon and clicking on View Permissions

then click on the Grant New Permissions and add the appropriate account (as per the example below) and click save

Granting access to a Folder containing the Hosts

Now you can grant access to the Folder containing the machines you want the contractors, vendors or support staff to have access to.  Once done the Folder and the machines will be visible in the Host tab when they log into Passwordstate.

Now those users can simply navigate to the Hosts tab, select the host they need to establish a remote session to and click on the Auto Launch button. 

This will establish the connection for them without their ever needing to know the password credentials!

As always, we welcome your feedback via support@clickstudios.com.au.