What is Multi-factor authentication (MFA)

What is Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)?

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) has become a necessity to keep businesses safe in a world of phishing, data breaches, and GDPR. Introducing MFA and Adaptive Authentication into a cybersecurity strategy can protect businesses and users in the ever-changing threat landscape; protecting valuable resources such as Office 365, other cloud-based services and sensitive corporate data.  

What is Multi-Factor Authentication? 

MFA is a cybersecurity solution designed to steer users away from the static username and password. These traditional login systems have gained notoriety in recent years following a large number of data breaches leading to user login credentials being exposed online. Coupled with cyber threats such as phishing becoming increasingly sophisticated in their efforts of harvesting login details, and the traditional username and password have gained a justified reputation for being insecure. 

Because 2-factor authentication (2FA) requires just a username and password combined with a second form of identification, 2FA is vulnerable. Using MFA is a secure alternative, requiring users to present multiple forms of identification in order to grant access to systems or applications. As a result, MFA weaves together multiple layers of security to ensure that access is only granted to the appropriate people.  

MFA provides peace of mind – in the event of a cybercriminal gaining access to one credential, they will still be unable to verify their identity. 

Types of Multi-Factor Authentication 

MFA identification falls into 3 different categories, which can be defined as: 

Something you knowSomething you haveSomething you are
Examples: 
PIN 
Password 
Secret questions 
Examples:  
One-time password (OTP) token 
Smartphone 
Security token 
Examples: 
Facial recognition 
Voice recognition 
Fingerprint scans 

Adaptive Authentication

Adaptive authentication enhances the security of MFA solutions even more. For example, when an employee tries to access Office 365 with their MFA solution, adaptive authentication operates seamlessly in the background to check additional risk factors including: 

  • The location – is it from work, an employee’s home or an unknown location? 
  • The device – Is it a work laptop or a personal smartphone? 
  • The time – is it during normal work hours or late at night? 
  • The network – Are they accessing from a public or private network? 

If any of the above risk factors are flagged by the solution as out of the ordinary, adaptive authentication steps-up security by requesting additional MFA identification credentials.  

Mobliciti Auth

Mobliciti Auth is Mobliciti’s exclusive adaptive multi-factor authentication solution. Powered and approved by SecureAuth technology, Mobliciti’s Adaptive MFA solution is a fully hosted secure authentication platform. Providing a seamless user experience, Mobliciti Auth forms part of our managed services.  

Find out more about Mobliciti Auth, as well as downloading our ebook here.  

If you’d like to find out more about how MFA solutions can help secure the enterprise, please get in touch