Kisco Extends Two Factor Authentication To Green Screens
July 27, 2020 Alex Woodie
Companies that still rely on 5250 greenscreens to get work done can now lock down those sessions with a new two-factor authentication feature recently delivered in Kisco Information Systems’ i2Pass offering. The New York company is also giving customers of its iEventMonitor solution new capabilities to automatically respond to error messages in a remote fashion.
Green screens, if you haven’t noticed, are not going away. Despite the ubiquity of Web and mobile interfaces for new development, there’s a large number of applications that require users to log into a 5250 terminal emulation session to get the job done. For companies that value security and want two-factor authentication, Kisco Information Systems has your back.
Kisco recently shipped a new release of its 2FA offering, dubbed i2Pass, which it originally launched back in 2015. The software controls access to IBM i assets by only letting in users who have both the correct user name/password combination, but also have the secret passcode, which is randomly generated and sent by email to a pre-registered email address (or mobile phone number for SMS texts) that the user provides when he is initially enrolled.
If the user enters the correct IBM i credential and the correct nine-digit passcode from his email or mobile phone, then he is allowed into the IBM i server. If the user fails to provide the right information, he is denied access.
With version 2, i2Pass customers can now extend the 2FA capabilities to 5250 terminal emulation sessions, thereby providing more peace of mind for system administrators and application owners concerned about unauthorized users accessing their system.
This new feature depends on the proper identification of the IP address of the client computer. When this feature is active, terminal sessions for specific users can only be established when the source IP address is approved in advance for that user, the company says.
Meanwhile, Kisco also has delivered a new release of iEventMonitor, the system monitoring and alerting tool for IBM i that it also launched back in 2015.
When Kisco launched the tool, the company was content with telling users what was happening on the box. With coverage of QSYSOPR and QSYSMSG queues, the job queue, message queues and storage and CPU monitoring, the company had eyes on the most likely places where errors would pop up. But as software is prone to do, it becomes more advanced over time.
With previous releases, when iEventMontior informed administrators of an error, the admins needed direct access to the systems to resolve the error messages. But with Release 5, Kisco has added the ability to respond to error messages.
Kisco explains the new feature:
“With this new capability, the alert notice contains an HTML link to a web page served on the IBM i using an Apache server instance. When the link is followed, a complete description of the error is shown in a standard browser session. The user has access to the failing job’s joblog to review the error situation and a reply to the error message can be submitted. When the reply is submitted, the message reply is processed and a confirmation is returned through the browser.”
Kisco has also added a new network watch feature that keeps an eye on network connections and sends and alert if there are problems. The company has also added iASP monitoring to its ASP monitor. There are also new audit and job watch features aimed at bolstering monitoring.
i2Pass works with i5/OS 6.1 and higher and starts at $495 for a single partition or $1,295 for unlimited users. iEventMonitor requires at least IBM i 7.1, and starts at $595 for a single partition or $995 for license that lets users run the software on an unlimited number of partitions on a single server.