Using basic authentication

When you secure the Windows Media Administration site using basic authentication, a user must supply a user name and password. If the user information corresponds to a valid Windows user account, a connection is established.

Basic authentication is widely used on networks for collecting user credential information. The advantage of basic authentication is that it is simple to use and works with most browsers, proxy servers, and firewalls. The main disadvantage is that basic authentication provides a low level of security because credentials are not encrypted before they are sent across a network. Someone trying to compromise your system security could use a protocol analyzer to examine user passwords during the authentication process.

Because user credentials are obtained during the logon process, Windows Media Services Administrator for the Web enables you to administer the local server and other servers on the network. Keep in mind, however, that basic authentication is not recommended for administering multiple servers because of the low level of protection. You should use basic authentication with care, and preferably only on local area networks (LANs) known to be secure. To improve security for managing multiple servers, use basic authentication in conjunction with Secure Sockets Layer (SSL).

For more information about configuring IIS security properties, see Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager Help.

Basic authentication sends passwords over a network in clear text, so be aware that there is an inherent security risk involved in enabling this authentication method. However, when it is being used in combination with SSL, the security risk associated with Basic authentication is mitigated. It is recommended that you do not enable Basic authentication unless you are also using SSL with your Web site.