What is multifactor authentication (MFA)?
Multifactor authentication (MFA), or strong authentication, is a security mechanism process that requires two or more validation factors to prove a user's identity. Most often, it involves connecting to a network, application or other resource without having to rely on a simple username and password combination.
Why use MFA multifactor authentication?
There are many benefits for using Multifactor Authentication given the realities of today’s workplace issues, security landscape and regulations.
MFA to protect from cyberattacks
Multi-factor authentication (MFA), or strong authentication, is primarily known for providing an additional defense and making it more difficult for an unauthorized person to access a network or database. Implementing a robust MFA solution instantly secures data and IT resources against identity theft, account spoofing and phishing.
As such, businesses use MFA to control access to internal IT systems and solutions, as well as for B2C applications.
MFA to adapt to the changing workplace
Undergoing a digital transformation, Multifactor Authentication is an excellent way to promote employees' mobility and productivity. By using MFA either to access corporate applications or to connect to the network via a VPN, without being tied to the office and by having the choice to use their preferred devices, organisations benefit from a high valued flexibility.
Check out our article on the Deviceless MFA technology, which enables multifactor strong authentication without any device (smartphone, tablet or physical key).
MFA to comply with legal requirements
Data regulation is becoming increasingly rigorous, leading to significant compliance issues in data management and protection. MFA can be essential to comply with regulatory requirements in some industries and/or jurisdictions.
For example, it can help healthcare providers comply with HIPAA and is a key part in PSD2 directive for meeting strong customer authentication (SCA)..
MFA to simplify the login user experience
In the digital world, it is a given that enhancing the security of a system inevitably involves a degradation of the user experience. Yet, by choosing the right multifactor authentication (MFA) solution, you can simplify the day-to-day user login experience by allowing them to connect very quickly and easily, from any device, anywhere.
Check out our article on passwordless multifactor authentication MFA.
How does MFA works?
MFA works by requiring additional verification information called “authentication factors” to ensure that digital users are who they say they are. These factors are considered to be proof of a user's identity, also known as credentials.
MFA authentication methodology requires a combination of at least 2 factors. Each of them coming from a different category:
- Something they know (knowledge), such as a password, a passphrase or a PIN code
- Something they have (possession), such as a device (smartphone, laptop, etc.), physical tokens, key fobs and smartcards
- Something they are (inherence), such as a fingerprints, voice or facial recognition, and any other kind of biometrics
As MFA integrates machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), some count new authentication factors including location-based and behavior-based authentication factors. However, these verification methods are part of what we call “Adaptive MFA”.
Why doesn't inWebo recommend conditional access for its MFA?
For some MFA solutions, the user experience remains complex and could justify conditional access in order to simplify the login experience. It is certainly not the case for inWebo, which offers a natively flexible approach.
Our customers are free to set up conditional accesses but we believe that with an easy-to-use MFA it is worth having MFA requested whatever the circumstances. This way your users won't get lost when they are in one of the exceptional circumstances that requires MFA. In addition, you will reinforce or initiate a Zero trust approach within your organization.
How effective is multifactor MFA authentication?
According to Microsoft, the MFA blocks more than 99.9% of account compromise attacks. You will often hear that the MFA is a critical component of Zero Trust's security. While it is relatively easy to obtain a user's credentials through attacks such as phishing or credential stuffing, multifactor strong authentication makes it nearly impossible for hackers to obtain the second authentication factor.
How to choose the right MFA solution?
White Paper: The ABCs of Authentication
Download our free ebook to fully understand multifactor authentication (MFA), Zero Trust, Passwordless MFA, Devicesless MFA, OTP (One-Time Password) and authentication tokens.