Tech focus

Multi Factor Authentication

is a security system that verifies a user's identity by requiring multiple credentials before providing access.

The Password Problem

Passwords, they’re the oldest form of security but in today’s environment, with cybercrime rising and hackers getting bolder, passwords just don’t provide enough protection for businesses.

Here are five reasons why passwords are no longer sufficient:

* Employees reuse the same passwords

* Employees use easy-to-hack passwords

* People don’t keep their passwords safe

* Peak or stolen passwords are the top entry point for hackers

* Even senior employees aren’t passwords smart

The Solution

MFA is an effective way to provide enhanced security.

MFA creates multiple layers of security to help increase the confidence that the user requesting access is actually who they claim to be. With MFA, a cybercriminal may steal one credential but will not be able to gain access as they unable to verify the the second authentication method.

Examples of Multi-Factor Authentication include using a combination of these elements to authenticate:

* Codes generated by smartphone authentication apps
* Codes sent to a mobile phone via SMS
* Badges, USB devices, or other physical devices
* Fingerprints
* Codes sent to an email address
* Facial recognition
* Retina or iris scanning
* Answers to personal security questions

Types of authentication factors

When it comes to MFA, we typically refer to three types of authentication factors:

* Things you know (knowledge), such as a password or PIN
* Things you have (possession), such as a badge or smartphone
* Things you are (inheritance), indicated through biometrics, like fingerprints or voice recognition

The latest MFA solutions incorporate additional factors by considering context and behavior when authenticating. For example:

* Where you are when trying to obtain access, such as a cafe or home or foreign country
* When you are trying to access, like late at night or during the workday
* What device you’re using, such as a smartphone versus a laptop
* What kind of network are you accessing, like private or public

Often called Adaptive Authentication, this type of MFA takes context into account to flag logins that are out of the ordinary. When a person tries to authenticate in an unusual context, Adaptive MFA may tighten security by requesting additional credentials. For example, if a user is logging in from a cafe late at night—and this is not typical for that user—the MFA tool may require the user to enter a code texted to the user’s phone.

Good to our Clients Team Community Environment selves find out more