Cybersecurity is a very complex field. As such, you rarely come across a tool capable of addressing a wide variety of cyber threats. Multi-factor Authentication, however, is one of the few exceptions to this rule.
Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is a security control requiring multiple identity verifications before access to a network or application is granted.
These additional verifications could be a fingerprint submission (biometrics) or a code sent via SMS.
The more “dispersed” each authentication point is, the harder it is for cybercriminals to compromise a user’s account.
For example, suppose a cybercriminal uses stolen credentials to log into an account secured with MFA. In that case, they won’t be able to complete the login until they submit a specific code sent to the user’s registered mobile number.
This will most likely block the malicious login attempt. Most cybercriminals launch their attacks from remote locations, so they’re unlikely to steal a victim’s mobile device alongside their credentials.
As you can probably appreciate at this point, MFA is pretty darn good at blocking malicious access. It’s so good that Microsoft estimates almost 100% of account compromise attempts could be blocked with MFA.
This type of account access protection is critical in today’s modern remote workforce model. You can never be sure that your remote staff are following best security practices, and outside the security of office walls, corporate laptops have a higher chance of being stolen.
With MFA, you have peace of mind knowing your staff are consistently logging into their accounts securely.
Another positive to MFA technology is that it’s still getting better. One of the latest developments is Adaptive Multi-Factor Authentication (AMFA). AMFA considers the unique context of each login attempt to decide when to increase the complexity of the authentication process.
For example, if a login request comes from a suspicious IP address, AMFA will trigger a more complex authentication process compared to the one triggered for a user logging in from a trusted IP address.
Okta goes the extra mile by offering an AMFA solution that also shows you the specific apps each user is accessing and flags suspicious activity that could be indicative of a cyberattack.
Do you use an MFA solution? If so, do you find it disruptive to your workflow? Drop me an email, I’d love to know your thoughts.