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Multi-Factor Authentication Explained

Posted On: May 09, 2019

Topic: Security

woman on phone data security graphicTeleSign research indicates that the majority of users use five or fewer passwords for all of their accounts. While it may seem efficient for password memory on your end, you could actually create a “domino effect” that allows hackers to take down multiple accounts by cracking one password.

There’s and easy more powerful defense out there… enter Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

What is MFA?

Multi-factor authentication is based on the concept of requiring multiple forms of identification. It stops easy access with stolen credentials by requiring a second level of authentication after the user enters their username and password.

You’ve probably used MFA before, even if you weren’t aware of it. If a website has ever sent a numeric code to your phone for you to enter to gain access, for instance, you’ve completed a multi-factor transaction.

How Does MFA Work?

According to Duo, typically MFA transaction happens like this:

  1. The user logs in to the website or service with their username and password.
  2. The password is validated by an authentication server, and if correct, the user becomes eligible for the second factor.
  3. The authentication server sends a unique code to the user’s second-factor device.
  4. The user confirms their identity by approving the additional authentication from their second-factor device. 

While the basic processes behind multi-factor authentication are generally the same across providers, there are many different ways to implement it, and not all methods are created equal.

Benefits of MFA

MFA can:

  • Mitigate threats by providing an additional layer of protection
  • Decrease the chance of end user identities (and, subsequently, their IT resources) becoming compromised
  • Enable compliance with industry regulations such as PCI and HIPPA for privileged access to sensitive data

 A Trusted Partner 

 With more and more users accessing their sensitive corporate accounts online, organizations are struggling to keep their sensitive information safe. Multi-factor authentication provides proven protection in a world of increasing threats.  As a managed IT security services provider, OneNeck® IT Solutions is here to guide you, using a multi-layered approach, providing protection at every layer: from the DNS layer, to the network, to the endpoint. Contact us today to learn how to better safeguard your company’s valuable data.  

 

 

 

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