Multi-factor authentication (MFA) was once the concern of site admins and of enterprises overseeing highly sensitive work. Not any more. Today, MFA is a staple of the defensive toolset of businesses the world over. Whether you’re safeguarding top secret blueprints or simply trying to stop your social media from being hacked, MFA keeps an impregnable bolt across the door.
Despite its unrivaled ability to secure business networks, uptake of MFA has been slow. Some companies dismiss it, erroneously believing they’re unlikely to be targeted by cyber attackers, while others balk at enforcing another layer of complexity upon staff, who already have enough systems to master. The reality, in today’s hyper-connected world in which everything that matters is digital, is that multi-factor authentication is a must.
The MFA landscape Today
MFA today is provided by the cloud giants such as Microsoft Azure and AWS and by a number of boutique multi-factor auth firms. Microsoft provides MFA as a security default in Azure AD, which features a range of settings for configuring network security. The goal is to ensure that all organizations have a basic level of security enabled at no extra cost.
AWS also provides MFA, with an authentication code required from a secondary device when logging in. These solutions are geared around the needs of sys admins, and while capable of being deployed company-wide, are not easily adopted by regular employees. Furthermore, the prospect of implementing MFA “at no extra cost,” as promised by Azure, isn’t strictly true; there’s still a requirement to roll out the authentication system using toolkits, maintain ongoing tech support and maintenance, and educate staff on correct usage.
For multi-factor authentication to catch on – and become enforced across all organizations – it needs to be:
- Simpler to deploy
- Compatible with all business systems
- Require minimal staff training
It should integrate easily, without introducing friction. A number of such solutions now exist in the form of built-in MFA. These off-the-shelf MFA products provide company-wide authentication, packaged in a format that’s palatable for the people – not just the tech team.
There are several key differences between this form of integrated multi-factor authentication and the more basic authentication provided by the likes of Azure. Built-in MFA:
- Is designed to work across all business applications, networks, services, and facilities.
- Uses factors that are clear and accessible for the user based on a device or attribute they already possess (e.g. mobile phone or biometric data).
- Has a user-friendly, simple and familiar flow for the user that is akin to a mobile UX, with no requirement for an additional app for secondary authentication.
- Be open-sourced and based on open standards, like OAuth and OpenID Connect.
- Easily integrate with other IAM solutions.
Auth is one such solution. It empowers organizations to deliver authentication across their entire company, facilitating secure access from anywhere. Employee access to networks is simplified through eliminating the need for passwords or cards. Verified business profiles are created, by which access to apps and office facilities can be established.
With Auth, organizations can host the full white label stack or delegate identity management with operations and customer support to Remme via the SaaS Auth offering. Auth is proof that MFA doesn’t have to be complicated to be secure. Strengthening your systems with multi-factor authentication has never been easier.