Multi Factor Authentication (MFA)

Computer security - Security

Multi Factor Authentication (MFA)- In recent years, an increasing number of businesses and individuals have sought improved ways to protect their data. In 2018, massive corporations like Facebook, Ticketfly, and T-Mobile suffered severe data breaches, proving that no one is truly safe. Due to the high frequency of data breaches, many people are reasonably concerned about revealing their data and incurring financial loss, therefore they must use multi factor authentication.

Cybersecurity measures such as setting a firewall, installing antivirus software, and encrypting data can only go so far in combating fraudsters. Hackers have been utilising more sophisticated software to steal business and private data, therefore you should take every precaution to protect your data. Enabling multi-factor authentication (MFA) as an additional security measure is one approach to do this.

We’ll go over all you need to know about MFA in this post.

How Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) Enhances Account Security

In a nutshell, MFA is a security method that requires a user to be authenticated in several ways. It usually includes two or more forms of authentication credentials: something the user knows, something they have in their possession, and something they are.

The MFA adds an extra layer of security to your account, making it more difficult for hackers or unauthorised users to gain access. Because there are multiple ways to access an account, any hacker who manages to get past the first tier of security (breaking your password) will be thwarted because they won’t have access to the other security features you’ve activated.

The Various Types of MFA

The many types of MFA you can enable to keep your data secure are outlined below.

Possession Factors

This refers to the physical goods that a user must have in order to complete their login process. A key fob, cellphones, USB drives, security tokens, or the phone’s SIM card are all examples. For instance, you might get a notification on your phone asking whether you’re verifying a new device login for one of your accounts. One-time passwords (OTPs) are also included because they are sent to your email or phone number.

Knowledge Factors

Passwords, PINs, and responses to secret questions are examples of authentication factors. A knowledge factor is anything that a user can recollect and remember. When you try to access your account, this is usually the first level of protection you’ll encounter.

Inherence Factors

To put it another way, anything that comes within this category is a physical part of a user’s body that can be used for authentication. HP’s ‘Are Selfies the Next Best Security Tool?’ examines how organisations are incorporating face recognition into their products and services to boost security. For example, many phone makers, such as Apple and Huawei, have installed facial recognition algorithms that create a unique detailed depth map of your face, which can be used to validate a login. Iris scans, voice verification, and palm scans are examples of this type of authentication.

Is MFA a perfect programme?

Nothing is completely immune to weaknesses, as is the case with all security methods. George Mutune discussed the security weaknesses of popular solutions like SMS-based MFA in his article “The Security Downside of SMS-based Multi Factor Authentication (MFA).” SMS-based MFA is far from flawless, with SIM swap attacks and SS7 network weaknesses.

Stuart Schechter’s Medium piece also highlights the dangers of permitting MFA. For one thing, if you don’t answer a question on your secondary MFA method, you’ll lose access to your account permanently. Another disadvantage of enabling MFA is that it can make you careless because you now believe your accounts are completely protected. This makes you vulnerable to phishing attacks and trusting unfamiliar publishers.

Regardless, it’s still a good idea to enable MFA on all of your accounts – just keep an eye out for security flaws that could jeopardise your information.

Jennifer Thomas
Jennifer Thomas is the Co-founder and Chief Business Development Officer at Cybers Guards. Prior to that, She was responsible for leading its Cyber Security Practice and Cyber Security Operations Center, which provided managed security services.