In today’s world, you can’t take any risk when it comes to protecting access to sensitive company data.
Therefore, any user authentication needs to be as secure as possible. Keeping up with best practices is essential in this day and age. If you have ever used a social media account or some other online service that requires you to create a password, you are probably aware of the importance of having one.
A password is your first defense against malicious individuals who may try to access your personal information and impersonate you for their gain. A multifactor authentication system goes beyond simply using a password as an authentication method. It involves using two or more different authentication methods together, such.
Understanding Multifactor Authentication
Multifactor authentication requires users to provide two or more pieces of authentication as opposed to just one. These authentication factors can be either something the user knows, something they have, or something they are. For example, if you log into your bank account, you will be asked to provide your username and password. This is a single authentication factor since you only need one thing to log in.
If you then need to provide your fingerprint, you are providing a second form of authentication. There are many benefits to using MFA, including but not limited to the fact that it can help prevent phishing attacks. If a malicious actor gets a hold of your login information, not much stops them from accessing your data. With MFA enabled, however, they will have access to all of your authentication factors to get into your account — making it far more difficult for them to do so.
Why is Multifactor Authentication Important?
The primary purpose of multifactor authentication is to add a layer of security to your login process. Authentication confirms someone’s identity, usually using a password or PIN code. Without additional authentication methods, a hacker could try to brute force their way into a system by repeatedly trying to guess a password until they get it right. Multifactor authentication (MFA) is any system that requires more than one method of authentication.
The more secure your login process is, the more likely malicious individuals will get frustrated and move on to an easier target. In today’s world, people expect a high level of security from every company providing goods and services online. If you are in a position where you need to protect sensitive data from malicious users, you should consider implementing multifactor authentication.
Which Factors Should You Use for MFA?
You can use a wide variety of different authentication methods, but you must choose wisely. The best authentication methods for your business will depend on several factors, including your company’s resources, your existing security procedures, and the level of security you’re trying to achieve. In general, though, there are three authentication factors that most businesses will want to consider when deciding which methods to use.
What Types of MFA are Available?
The types of multifactor authentication available depend on the authentication methods you choose. However, each kind of MFA has its strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, you’ll want to decide which methods work best for your business based on the abovementioned factors.
Three types of factors can be used for MFA: Something you know, something you have, and something you are.
Something you know – This can be a password, a passphrase, a Personal Identification Number (PIN), or a combination thereof. When selecting a password, you should use a long and complex one, and you shouldn’t use one that you have used on another website or service.
Something you have – This can be a token, a smart card, or a Security Identifier (SID). A token is a physical device that generates a one-time password (OTP) to log into a computer or network. A smart card can be used as an identification card to store company credentials. A SID is a unique identifier that is assigned to each employee. These IDs are often used for computer login and the creation of central login.
Something you are – This can be a biometric identifier, such as a fingerprint or a retina scan, or a combination of biometrics, such as a fingerprint and an OTP generated by a token. Biometrics are highly accurate and can’t be shared between individuals. A fingerprint is used by many companies these days, including Google and Apple.
How to Implement MFA?
If your business hosts its data in the cloud, you’ll likely want to use third-party services that provide MFA options. On the other hand, if you host your data on-premises, you can use your existing authentication systems to implement MFA. Regardless of where your data is hosted, you’ll also want to ensure that your authentication tokens are properly secured.
You should implement multifactor authentication for the most sensitive systems, such as your virtual private network (VPN) or remote access systems. You can implement MFA using software or hardware tokens or an authentication system that supports MFA. If you are using software tokens, employees can use one-time passcodes generated by authentication apps to authenticate themselves.
On the other hand, employees need to own a token that creates single-use passcodes if they use hardware tokens. If you are implementing an authentication system that supports MFA, you must select the appropriate authentication methods and configure the system to use the MFA authentication method.
Multifactor authentication is an essential part of any security strategy. It protects an organization’s network and data against attacks by logging in users with more than one piece of information, such as a password and a code from a hardware token. In addition, businesses must protect their assets and data from outside threats and misuse by their employees.
This can be done by implementing multifactor authentication for all company resources, including computers, servers, virtual private networks (VPNs), e-commerce applications, email, and even remote access to systems.
While no one-size-fits-all solution will work for every business, there are several different options for implementing an effective MFA system. By following these guidelines, companies can ensure that their assets are protected from malicious actors.