Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is an essential part of today’s identity and access management best practices. It’s also one of the main compliance requirements for user identity verification. MFA allows you to add one more layer of protection to critical endpoints, data, and functionality. The main function of MFA is to make sure that the person or entity trying to access protected assets really is who they claim to be.
There are three categories of factors. You need to use at least two.
Classic authentication methods are usually one-factor: a password (if you know it, you’re authorized), a key (if you have it, you get access), and so on. Multi-factor authentication, otherwise known as two-factor authentication or simply 2FA, requires the authentication process to include verification of factors from at least two out of three categories:
- Something a user knows (password, PIN, answer to a secret question, etc.)
- Something a user possesses (key, security token, bank card, smartphone, etc.)
- Something a user is / biometrics (fingerprint, iris, voice, etc.)
PROS of MFA
There are specific benefits of integrating Multi-Factor Authentication with your Office 365 and Azure Tenants.
Simplifies the Login Process
One of the most significant benefits of Multi-Factor Authentication is that it allows businesses to log in, in the end, with a single sign-in. Which makes this process simple for the end-users and makes it even more difficult for others to access. If you’re using just one sign-in, you can add the Multi-Factor Authentication process to this. With the completion of the authentication process, you can gain access to required applications and data without entering your extra credentials every time.
Increased Flexibility and Productivity
It’s a fact that removing the burden of passwords and putting alternatives such as MFA will boost productivity. Application of Multi-Factor Authentication, in the right environment, can also work as a wonderful extra opportunity to help the reduction of operational costs.
Passwords and pin numbers are susceptible to hackers forcing logins, social engineering attacks or elaborate phishing techniques. You can mitigate the risk somewhat by adding authentication factors which cannot be guessed, such as your mobile device or using your own biometric elements such as voice or fingerprints. Ultimately though, MFA strengthens overall security as everything required by the system is not available to the people wanting to steal your data and gain access to your system.
Apart from data encryption and compliance standards, organisations require implementing Multi-Factor Authentication for various situations. By using MFA you’re taking a step towards compliance that will support the protection of sensitive data like your financial, personal or business information.