28. September 2019 13:16
In recent years, there is an increase in number of cases related to password breach. The main reason for upsurge in number of such instances is the ease to crack an account password using modern algorithms and software. Accessing personal, financial or business information using a hacked password has become a lucrative option for cyber criminals; while it poses a great threat to businesses around the world.
In order to avoid falling prey to password theft, organizations are making a drift towards MFA (Multi-factor Authentication). MFA is a security system that requires the user to verify his identity using more than one method of authentication from independent categories of credentials at the time of login or a transaction.
Why Do Organizations Need MFA?
Following are the primary motivations to incorporate MFA in organization’s cyber security protocol:
- Stronger Authentication: As per a study, 80% of hacking-related breaches are a result of weak or stolen passwords. MFA modifies the traditional practice of granting access based on username and password. It adds another layer of protection to the resources of an organization which is based on multiple weighted factors. This reduces the risk arising from compromised passwords.
- Adaptive Work Culture: As organizations are promoting BYOD and work from home culture, more employees request access to the organizational resources from their personal devices. The employees may access their email accounts over unsecured Wi-Fi networks outside the organization’s protected premises. This gives the hackers greater opportunities to steal passwords.
- Common Passwords: As employees are required to set up and memorize passwords for multiple accounts or resources, they tend to keep easy passwords. Alternatively, they may keep a common password for multiple accounts. This puts the organization at a higher risk for password breach.
- Higher Risks: Most of the password breaches result in identity theft. The cyber criminals may impersonate the victim employee and gain unauthorized access to the data, financial information, trade secrets, customer credentials, etc. The hackers may even erase the data files hampering the functionality of the organization for a long period of time.
- Defamatory: A password breach may allow hackers to access the customer records including personal details, address, personal health information, etc. They may leak this information resulting in defamation of the organization in the market. This may cause serious business setback.
How Is MFA Set Up?
A commonly used MFA practice is implementation of TOTP (time-based one-time password). A user now requires two pieces of information to access the resources; password set by him and a TOTP generated on his registered smartphone or email id. This helps in significantly reducing the incidents of breach. However, there are numerous other factors that are used to set multiple layers of security.
Some of the factors used for setting up MFA are:
- Factor 1: Password, security question, PIN, etc.
- Factor 2: HMAC-based OTP, TOTP, Personal Identity Verification, etc.
- Factor 3: Biometric
- Factor 4: Geolocation Security Checks, IP address, etc.
- Factor 5: Picture password, gestures, touch, etc.
For more information on Multi-factor Authentication, contact Centex Technologies at (972) 375 - 9654.