How to Use Kentico Authenticator if you are on an iPhone

Posted by Nik Friedman TeBockhorst on December 21, 2016

The Kentico platform has been supporting multi-factor authentication since version 8, though because this feature was a custom build within Kentico, it currently only runs on Android. Today, I'm going to show you a work-around for this for iPhone and Windows users.

Multi-factor authentication is an important tool to keep websites safe. It requires users to provide a secondary source of verification, usually a special one-time-use passcode provided by a mobile app, in addition to a username and password. This additional authentication provides extra security, particularly password happens to be stolen.

The Industry Standard

At this point, most major websites offer some form of multi-factor-authentication - from tech companies like Google and Microsoft, to social networks (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn), banks (Wells Fargo, Bank of America), and hundreds of other sites.
 
You can learn more about multi-factor authentication in this excellent CNET article.
 
Most sites rely on an industry standard method called “TOTP,” which works with mobile apps like Google Authenticator, or Microsoft Authenticator or Authy, and also supports hardware-based security tokens like the YubiKey. This method makes it easy to secure sites, and additionally lets users select the authentication software that works best for them.

The Kentico Method

Kentico, while supporting multi-factor authentication, does not use the industry-standard method. Instead the Kentico team built its own system, which only runs on Android. This limitation creates a problem for iPhone users, Windows Phone users, and anyone else without an Android phone.
 
So, what do you do if you need to log into a site that requires Kentico Authenticator, but who doesn’t have an Android phone?
 
Well, if you’re adventurous, you can use some beta software to run the Kentico Authenticator Android app within the Chrome browser. Here’s how:
 
First, you will need to install the App Runtime for Chrome.

  1. Go to https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/app-runtime-for-chrome-be/mfaihdlpglflfgpfjcifdjdjcckigekc
  2. Install the App runtime. (Note: This will take a while, it's very large.)


 

Second, you will need to install the Kentico Authenticator application as a Chrome app.

  1. Download this file, which is the Kentico Authenticator application, packaged up for Chrome. 

  2. Unzip to a useful location

  3. Go to "Extensions" in Chrome

  4. Click the "Developer Mode" checkbox

  5. Click "Load Unpacked Extension"

  6. Select the folder you unzipped (NOT the contents of the folder)

  7. Kentico Authenticator should now show up in your extensions list. Click the "Launch" link under it to start the program or launch it from your Chrome Apps folder.

When using this extension, you will occasionally get warnings about running unsupported software in Chrome. Unfortunately, there’s no way around it. But I've found that at least it gets the job done for multi-factor authentication when using my iPhone.

The Longer-Term Solution

One other thing I've found that Kentico definitely listens to customer feedback. In this case, I'd certainly like to see Kentico upgrade their software to use industry-standard security that is well supported on ALL platforms. If you agree, make your voice heard and vote for the feature on Kentico's idea forum here.


Nik Friedman TeBockhorst
Nik Friedman TeBockhorst manages the account services team, ensuring consistently excellent service delivery and strategic alignment between BlueModus and our clients. Nik oversees strategic agency and corporate clients' e-commerce, intranet and marketing site development, and has over 15 years' experience in technology and digital marketing.