Multi-Factor Authentication: Modern Cybersecurity Awareness

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multi-factor authentication modern cybersecurity awareness

Cybersecurity is a major concern, and global businesses and tech organizations are exploring and implementing a distinct set of options for improving cybersecurity factors.

One such critical development is multi factor authentication (MFA), a kind of authentication method requiring the users to provide two or more sets of verification factors, in terms of gaining access to information systems like online accounts, access to a business application, or net banking systems, or the VPN.

What is Multi Factor Authentication in Short

Multi factor authentication alias MFA is seen as a strong and core component in the Identity and Access Management (IAM) policy.

In addition to the fundamental user credential being verified for access, the systems seek an additional set of verification factors basis the use case scenarios, purposefully designed to avoid cyber-attacks.

In the case of successful implementation of the MFA authentication, the scope of phishing attacks, or social engineering attacks rate is low.

Multi factor authentication is important as it enhances the business information systems security in terms of seeking the users to identify themselves using more options just than the username and password conditions.

Simple usernames and password kind of structures are prone to vulnerability and brute-force attacks.

Phishing Attack Email
Example of phishing email attack.

With the current range of phishing and social engineering attacks, taking place, the use of multifactor authentication systems is seen as a potential solution to address the issue.

Some of the commonly used MFA is thumbprint or physical hardware key, which leads to an increased layer of security features, and it is challenging for cyber criminals to breach the user credentials into the systems.

MFA works by leading the users to provide additional verification information in the account setting conditions.

There are multiple sets of MFA practices in place like password security, one-time passwords, or the TOTP options as a multi factor authentication source.

Basis the structure, the following are the key types of multi factor authentication being adopted.

One in the human touch or human-centric process like the biometric, face recognition, or retina scanning (in the advanced infrastructure locations, and specialty hardware) for managing the MFA authentication using the system.

The second form is the one wherein the modifications are basis the incremented or time value-based inputs like the one-time passwords, time-based one-time passwords (TOTP) as the multi factor authentication, or a random generation of the passcodes which are valid only for a specific time.

Another pattern of the multi factor authentication or MFA authentication process is about using the structured approach of pattern set which is widely used as per the devices.

Some elements like pattern unlocking and pre-defined questions are sought at random and their relative answers as stored in the information system servers.

There is a need for the organization to use such multi factor authentication.

Depending on the systems and process, the necessary multi factor authentication system can be used for the process.

In some of the applications, there is the scope of customized multifactor authentication models like seeking the information from the past activities of the customers, or mapping the images which were earlier chosen as their favorites, etc.

Such pattern designs based multi factor authentication models too can increase the layers of security.

Research studies have observed the scope for pattern breaking in the MFA and have advocated that the applications have a random MFA authentication process.

For instance, while the first authentication factor in multi factor authentication is user-id and password, the second authentication factor can be the pattern unlock or image selection or TOTP or OTP, etc among which there is a random selection, and such parameters help in improving the cybersecurity levels using the multi factor authentication process.

New age research studies are also focusing on the multi factor authentication models using artificial intelligence (AI) for the decision on the MFA implementation screening.

artificial intelligence

For example, the AI-based system shall screen the user requests to access, and identify the user’s IP address, geo-location possibly, and the devices from which the login is attempted to MFA secured system.

If the users’ devices, networks, and geo-locations stand routine and are whitelisted, the simple range of MFA can be used as an implementation scenario.

Adaptive authenticating is the process wherein the MFA authentication systems screen the login attempts to understand any kind of anomaly systems in practice, and accordingly seek more than two kinds of multi factor authentication systems, to ensure the user requests to the systems are genuine.

Some of the benefits integral to executing the MFA systems in the management of the application are:

  • It helps the users have more control over the user credentials for login into the e-business applications
  • The security layers for the applications are increased which can help in cutting down the chances of social engineering or phishing attacks, because of implementing multi factor authentication.
  • Stands a fundamental solution in the Identity and Access Management controls, using the MFA authentication
  • There are options for the users to attempt the login if one option of authentication is not possible in the instance, as MFA is about multiple authentication models
  • Deploy automated analysis for multifactor authentication using AI solutions.

While there are scores of benefits to using multi factor authentication, some of the key aspects that turn challenge for the users in multi factor authentication are

  • Users need to carry their mobile devices for accessing the TOTP or OTP delivered as text messages or in-app messages for verification in the MFA
  • Users need to remember the answers they have mentioned to the questions, and if the answers do not match, the chances of the user account temporarily getting blocked are possible because of mismatched data in MFA authentication
  • At times it could be seen as an inconvenience to consider the usage of multi factor authentication for regularly used applications like emails, business system login, etc.

If you prefer implementing multi factor authentication models for your business applications, the service solutions available from Acronis Cyber Protect can be highly resourceful for managing the MFA authentication across the platforms.

To know more, and to understand how the multi factor authentication process can help in improving the overall process of security of your systems, reach out to Exabytes Malaysia for more details and subscription plans.

Cyber Protection Solution

Related articles:

2FA Two-Factor Authentication: Essential Part for Cybersecurity

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