TMCnet Feature
October 04, 2022

What Are the Most Significant Advantages of MFA Solutions?

MFA (News - Alert) or multi-factor authentication helps businesses and individuals to prevent security breaches and protect sensitive data from hackers. There was a time when having static usernames and passwords appeared to be enough for keeping various digital belongings secure. However, today’s users must understand that they must take additional steps to stop cyberattacks. 

If your account password is the only form of authentication you are using for protecting your confidential data, your chances of experiencing data breaches are pretty high. This makes MFA an extremely important tool. Read on to know more about multi-factor authentication and the benefits of using it. 

An Introduction to MFA

In its basic form, authentication involves presenting proof that the user is the same person he or she is claiming to be. MFA requires the user to complete additional steps. With MFA in use, the person looking for access to his or her account needs to submit proof from at least two authentication factors (it can even be more than two). 

Unauthorized users or hackers might succeed in stealing one password or getting it through a dark web deal. However, it’s unlikely that they would have access to the other authentication factor(s) so easily. That would demand much more time and effort from their end. This allows MFA to stop most unscrupulous people from entering your systems and enjoying access to all your crucial data. 

Types of Authentication Factors 

1. Knowledge Factors

The most common knowledge factor MFA solutions use is the password. Other examples of knowledge factors include passphrases, security questions, and PINs. However, experts believe that all these factors have become much less secure than what they used to be a few years back. That’s because hackers can easily steal them or buy them on the dark web. 

Gaining access to knowledge factors has become easier also because people tend to share personal data on various social media platforms. This has made it easier for bad actors to find the right answers to security questions. 

2. Possession Factors 

Examples of possession factors include soft tokens, hard tokens, smartcards, key fobs, and last but not least smartphones. The users may need to use an OTP or one-time password (received on their smartphone) or use a physical token to generate a unique code or insert the smartcard into a given device for authentication. 

3. Inheritance Factors or Biometrics 

Biometrics or inheritance factors include different unique physical traits users possess. Verification of biometrics takes place through facial or voice recognition, fingerprint scans, retinal scans, and at times even the heartbeat of the user. Before you start using biometrics for authentication, you must ensure that your target users have the hardware/equipment needed to scan various inheritance factors. 

What Are the Advantages of Using MFA? 

Modern-day businesses are constantly facing security challenges when operating online. If you want to protect your business and customers from data breaches and identity theft, you must implement MFA right away. The section below talks about the most prominent advantages of using MFA. 

Boosts Security 

By making users submit multiple credentials before they get access to their accounts, you will prevent hackers from successfully using stolen devices, passwords, and other kinds of sensitive information. In other words, hackers will not be able to harm you despite having access to your device or login credentials like passwords. 

According to a recent survey, IT and security professionals believe that MFA is the most useful security control an online business can have. It protects both public cloud and on-premises data effectively. 

Prevents Passwords from Becoming Compromised

It’s a well-known fact that the password is the most widely used authentication factor. However, it’s also pretty evident that just a password is not capable of offering the required security. Users keep sharing or reusing passwords. Guessing or stealing passwords has also become quite common. This makes life miserable for system administrators and account holders who rely only on passwords. Implementing MFA will stop this misery by preventing passwords from getting compromised. 

You Can Have Customized Security Solutions 

Every authentication factor presents multiple options. This allows businesses to meet the exact needs of users by customizing the user experience. For instance, a user’s smartphone may feature an in-built fingerprint scanner, but may not have voice recognition or retinal scanners. Two-factor authentication might be enough for certain use cases. However, some others might require the use of each of the three authentication factors mentioned above. 

Compatible with SSO

You can integrate MFA with SSO or single sign-on and embed it into all the applications on your smartphone. This means with MFA in action, users will not need to come up with unique passwords for every application they use. They will also not need to repeat the same password for logging into all applications. This will reduce the time an application takes to verify the identity of the user and help in improving productivity. 

Allows Enterprise Mobility 

From 2020, the dreadful year, many companies have started to encourage their employees to opt for remote work. This has accelerated the process of digital transformation significantly. Companies can increase productivity significantly by allowing their employees to have access to various resources they need on their mobile devices. MFA-enabled business applications allow users to have access to those resources 24/7 that too without compromising the security of business data and networks. Things become even simpler when the system gets integrated with SSO. 

Suitable for Multiple Use cases 

Certain situations demand greater security. For instance, you must have enhanced security when carrying out high-value transactions or using sensitive data. MFA is highly adaptable and works by using behavioral and contextual data like time, IP address, and geolocation since the last authentication for assessing risk. If the assessment shows that a particular IP address can be risky or if it identifies any other abnormal activity, the system may add more authentication factors to further confirm the user’s identity.

Final Words 

Implementing MFA is the need of the hour. You cannot avoid bringing in this change if you want to grow as a business and prevent security breaches. 

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