Why Your Business Needs Multi-Factor Authentication
All businesses have sensitive systems, networks, and data. Certain information like financials and customer records require the utmost protection. There is no better way for a business to achieve security than to set up an authentication system. Most websites have them already in the form of username or email address and password authentication.
Multi-factor authentication is a similar but more complex and secure process. It provides businesses with increased security measures when granting access to users. This exercise allows them to have more secure protection over their infrastructure and information.
Here is why your business needs multi-factor authentication:
What Is Multi-Factor Authentication?
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a method of user authentication that utilizes and requires two or more verification factors from users in order for them to gain access to a resource. This resource can be almost anything a business uses, such as an app, an account, a website, a network, a virtual private network (VPN), etc. MFA serves as a way for businesses to ensure their assets and infrastructure are more protected. MFA reduces a business’s chances of being the victim of a cyberattack by asking for more than just a username and a password.
Why Is MFA Necessary?
Multi-factor authentication is necessary because it enhances a business’s security. Usernames and passwords can easily be stolen and sold by third parties, which is why systems like these are more prone to hacking and cyberattacks. With multiple layers of authentication, a business increases their security and more successfully keeps their data to themselves and their designated users.
How Does It Work?
A username and password set-up is a simple, one-step verification process. On the other hand, MFA is a multi-step verification process that requires one or more additional steps a user must take to verify themselves before they can be given access to a resource.
For example, one of the more common MFA steps is to use a one-time password (OTP). OTPs are the four- to eight-digit codes that are usually emailed or sent by text message to users to verify their email account or phone number. These codes are generated upon request and only active for short periods of time. They are also only sent to the one phone number or email address associated with the account. This system helps to ensure that a specific user is granted access to a resource and a hacker or other person who has the user’s username and password.
For enhanced security like OTPs, technology companies offer managed security services that span entire businesses. These companies offer a variety of MFA types to businesses.
The Types of Multi-Factor Authentication
There are different types of multi-factor authentication available for businesses. Each type enhances a business’s security and requires users to verify themselves in two or more steps.
The different types of MFA include:
Knowledge authentication requires a user to demonstrate specific knowledge to be granted access to a resource. This verification process can take several forms but is typically accomplished through personal security questions or multiple password entries.
For this MFA, a user must possess a particular object that only they or other verified users possess in order to be granted access to a resource. One-time passwords that are sent to a user’s email or phone are considered possession authentication. However, possession authentication can also take the form of access/security badges, USB devices, cards, or keys. By having a designated object when prompted, the user is given access.
Inherence authentication is another recognizable example of user verification. You often see it in spy movies. A user must present their fingerprints or undergo some form of facial, voice, retina, or iris recognition with inherence authentication. While this form of verification is intense, it is one of the most difficult types for hackers or anyone else to work around.
Location-based authentication tracks a user’s IP address or geo-location. If a user is trying to gain access outside a certain area or designated location, this verification process will not grant that user access.
The last MFA process is adaptive. Adaptive authentication analyzes factors like context and behavior to determine the risk in granting a user access. For example, suppose a user establishes a pattern of requesting access every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 9:00 a.m. but tries to gain access on a Tuesday at 2:00 p.n. In this case, the system will determine that this unusual attempt at access is a potential risk and not grant it.
Each type of MFA has its own process for verification, but it can be used in or out of any combination. A business may choose one of these types of MFA or choose to use two or more of them. Each process added will enhance their security further.
The Benefits of Multi-Factor Authentication
Multi-factor authentication takes a business’ resource security one or more steps further. In doing so, MFA offers businesses:
- Enhanced, multi-step security measures
- Multi-step user verification
- Reduced risk for cyberattacks
- Quick and easy implementation
- Regulatory compliance
Using MFA, a business can be sure only designated users can access their sensitive networks, apps, websites, and data. An MFA is just one of the many identity and access management systems that tech companies can offer businesses who want to increase their online security measures.
What Is Multi-Factor Authentication? Essential Security
Multi-factor authentication is an easily implementable solution to enhance the security of a business’s essential resources. This process locks websites, apps, networks, and more, and users must enter more than just one password to gain access. A user can be forced to enter certain knowledge, have possession of a particular item, be subject to a fingerprint or facial scan, or be in a specific location to access a business’s resources.
These additional layers of security lower the risk of cyberattack and ensure that anyone attempting to access a business’s resources is permitted to do so. It is currently one of the best methods for a business to enhance its security.