The Power of Multi-Factor Authentication in online security

The Power of Multi-Factor Authentication in online security
By Sagar Chaudhary, March 07, 2023

Looking at the current Cyber threat to the Identity of every individual and corporate multi-factor authentication (MFA) has become the most important Information Technology authentication technique that requires users to present minimum two factors of authentication that prove their identity.

Why Use MFA?

Cybercriminals have more than 20 billion and more stolen credentials to choose from. If by any how they get yours, then they can just play with your email id, social media ,bank accounts, health care etc.

Multi-factor authentication has become very important, as it makes stealing of information harder for the average criminal. The less enticing your data is, the more likely that thieves will choose someone else to target.

As the name state itself, MFA blends at least two separate factors. One is typically your username and password, which is something you know and the other could be any of the below:

  • Something you have like cellophane, email ID, or YubiKey to verify your identity.
  • Something you are. Fingerprints, iris scans, or some other biometric data prove that you are whom you say you are.
  • Adding a two-factor authentication to an individual username/password to protects their privacy, And it is easy for most people to set up.

The next question that arises is, Do Passwords Offer Enough Security?

Well, we all use passwords to enter our email systems, bank accounts social media, mobile, and many more. Users are usually asked to change password combinations periodically in the hopes that they will be safe. But that is not truth, on their own, passwords are no longer provide an appropriate level of security.

For Example, we can take Google. which uses one password to give access to:

  • Email. The messages you sent and those you have received, and the accounts that you use are all stored in the system and that are protected only with a password.
  • Calendars. Information about whom you've met, where you were, and what you did are all linked to a password.
  • YouTube. Your password unlocks your viewing history, you upload, and records about videos you enjoyed.
  • Other web apps. Use your Google account to connect to other online resources, such as Hootsuite or Salesforce, and your password could reveal a great deal of data.

Small glimpse, in 2017, Google admitted that hackers steal almost 250,000 web logins each week. That number could be even higher now. And each incident can be incredibly dangerous.

When people or anyone think about data breaches, they often think about the social media accounts, bank accounts. Very important is that the healthcare sector has become most common target for hackers. Once they have access, these people can change the medical records to bill fraudulent companies and they make money. Modified record are incredibly difficult to change, and this directly impact people health care and credit as well. Companies are recognizing these risks and acting accordingly but cannot do much. In Corporate, 75% of enterprises use MFA to protect security, and that number rises each year. If people did not consider this technique now, then it's time to start.

How Does MFA Work?

Most MFA systems won't eliminate usernames and passwords. Instead of that it layers another verification method to ensure that the real users have access in, and the thieves stay out.

MFA always seems simple, but it's remarkably effective. In a survey this has been found that MFA blocks near about 90% percent of the account hacks. By enabling MFA , this could protect users security in a huge way.

Benefits of Multi-Factor Authentication

Majority of the organizations have adopted MFA, given the realities of today’s security landscape and the regulations.

With compliance standards like GDPR and NIST requiring sophisticated security policies, MFA’s presence will only continue to become more widespread. This bring a next step to security, and this is too easy to use and the protection it provides, this add additional benefits to corporates and its employees and the Information Technology teams.

MFA Enables Stronger Authentication

Identity protection has become very critical for organizations and hence MFA, which is why multi-factor authentication is growing exponentially. In the world where comptonization of user’s credential is a constant threat and over 80 % of hacking-related breaches are caused by stolen credential or the weak passwords.

MFA  add another level in granting access, MFA add additional layers of authentication thereby reducing the risks of compromised passwords.

Any security breach which is caused due to weak password, would add huge consequences for both the individuals and the company and the customers who trust it.

MFA Adapts to the Changing Workplace

After Covid 19, the workplace has changes drastically and more employees are now working from home or outside the office, companies require more advanced MFA solutions to manage more complex access requests.

Where multi-factor authentication offers multiple layers of protection, adaptive multi-factor authentication evaluates the risk a user presents whenever they request access to a tool or information, looking at details like the user’s device, Location, the Access which users is asking etc.

For example, when employees are logging in from the company premises is in a trusted location and may not be prompted for an additional security factor. But if the employees are logs  in from their home, using their personal mobile phone to check work emails, or connects over an unsecured WiFi network, they may be prompted to verify an additional factor because they are utilizing an untrusted location, device, or connection.

Adaptive MFA also allows for dynamic policy changes, it adds significant controls in securing critical data. For instance, users may be prompted for a higher assurance second factor (or even a third factor) before obtaining access to any sensitive information defined as per data classification, such as customer data in Salesforce.

MFA Adds Additional Security Without Compromising User Experience

Remembering Passwords are headache, the more passwords’ users need to remember, they become lazier and their password creating habits become easy. Moreover, it’s important to avoid weighing IT teams down with password resets after they’ve implemented more stringent password policies to protect the company.

MFA secures the IT Infrastructure and the people in the organisation, and the devices they’re using without requiring cumbersome resets or complicated policies. Organizations can also make it easier for users by providing them with a variety of factors to choose from multiple option for MFA authentication like, Mail, Call, SMS, Questions etc.

MFA is a simple deployment and management tool and its integration with a broad range of applications also very easy, IT teams are freed up and can focus this time on more strategic tasks once they implement MFA.



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