Usernames and passwords are the traditional ways to access an account. In the past, this seemed sufficient for security purposes and identity verification. However, bad actors can steal and use passwords to execute fraudulent attacks and data breaches when it is the only form of authentication required.
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) can help reduce the risk of security breaches. It is a form of identity verification that is proven to keep hackers and other bad actors out of one’s system.
Overview of Multi-Factor Authentication
Authentication is the process of gathering proof or evidence to confirm that users are who they say they are. MFA provides multiple layers of security compared to password-based security solutions. The added protection provides a failsafe method of identity verification. Businesses that proactively implement an effective MFA can help reduce attacks, lessen the risk of costly breaches, and maintain productivity in business operations.
MFA takes traditional authentication one step further by requiring two or more authentication factors before giving users access. These factors are knowledge, possession, and inherence.
The knowledge factor refers to something that a user knows. Examples of a knowledge factor are passwords, PINs, passphrases, and answers to security questions.
Possession factors include smartphones, tokens, key fobs, and smart cards. These are something that users have.
Inherence factors refer to something a user is, also known as biometrics. These include unique physical traits that every user possesses. Biometrics are verified through fingerprint scans, facial recognition, or voice recognition.
Different Benefits of Multi-Factor Authentication Solutions for Businesses
MFA can ensure that companies follow authentication regulations. For example, some of the requirements online banking services and retailers have to comply with are Strong Customer Authentication (SCA), electronically Know Your Customer (eKYC), and open banking. With an effective MFA solution, businesses can navigate these standards and avoid costly fines for failing to comply with industry requirements.
Multi-factor authentication is now the new standard for account security. MFA solutions add another layer of protection for businesses against data breaches and sophisticated cyber attacks by bad actors.