What Is Multifactor Authentication?
This is a form of authentication that uses multiple factors or points to identify a user before granting them access to a database or online portal. The way it works is the following. A person tries to log into their work email account. They would have to enter their regular username and password. With MFA, they would also have to go through another additional layer or even several layers of authentication.
The most common form of multifaceted authentication service out there right now is a one-time passcode that is usually sent out as a text message to the intended recipient. The password is usually in the form of a number. A person then enters that passcode in order to gain access to email, programs or an online portal.
A one-time passcode can also be sent to a regular landline phone. In this case, a person would pick up the phone and hear a numerical password. They would then enter that passcode to access the website or portal they were trying to log in.
The one-time passcode authentication method is done automatically and needs no human oversight. It can be accessed at any time of the day or night. A cell phone or regular landline phone is the only thing that is needed to use this multi-point identity management system.
Why Use Multifactor Authentication Services?
Cyber attacks against businesses are becoming more frequent and sophisticated. Identity theft is also a severe threat. Multi-point authentication methods are one of the best ways to prevent unauthorized people from accessing sensitive information. It is also a great way to safeguard company data from hackers.
Here is an example of just how powerful and effective a multi-factor identity management system can be. Let us imagine that a hacker compromised a person’s login credentials. That hacker then tries to access the company database with those credentials.
If you have MFA services in place, the hacker would not be able to do anything. This is because as soon as the hacker tries to log in, he would be asked to provide the one-time passcode that was sent to the compromised employee’s cell phone. The hacker would not have the phone of the employee’s credentials he had stolen. His attempt to access your company portal would be stopped dead in its tracks.
The multifactor authentication system is a company’s best friend and a cybercriminal’s worse nightmare. By implementing such a system for your business, you can put a stop to virtually all breaches. You will also help prevent unauthorized access from occurring from within the company as well. Unauthorized access and breaches can arise from within the company and outside. A multilayer identification system protects against both threats.
Smartphone Multifactor Authentication Programs
Companies such as OneLogin have designed an easy to use and convenient form of multi-tier identification designed specifically for the smartphone. Their OneLogin protect system does not use any passcodes. Instead, a user gets an alert sent to their smartphone. The user simply swipes yes or no to gain access to the software or portal they were accessing. It is a more convenient and easy to use the multilfactor authentication system that is now available on the smartphone.
There are also more traditional low-tech MFA services offered by identity security companies such as OneLogin. Instead of a passcode or smartphone alert, security questions are asked before a person can log in to an account. This is an older form of multi-point authentication and is less secure than the one-time passcodes or swipes. It can be combined with one-time passcodes for ultimate security.