Benefits of Multifactor Authentication: The Ultimate Protection for Your Online Security


Aravindh Kumar

Developer's Corner


Oct 31, 2023

In today's increasingly digital world, securing sensitive information is more critical than ever. One effective way to add an extra layer of security to your online accounts is through multi-factor authentication (MFA).

So What Is MFA?

Multi-Factor Authentication, also known as MFA, is a security mechanism that mandates two or more forms of authentication from distinct categories to confirm the identity of a user during login. This approach is critical in enhancing network security by making it much more difficult for cyber attackers to gain unauthorised access.

The primary objective of MFA is to augment security by adding additional authentication factors that can prove the authenticity of the user attempting to log in. Even if a password or other authentication method is compromised, a hacker is highly unlikely to have access to additional authentication factors. An effective MFA implementation attempts to balance boosting security and maintaining ease of use for users.

What are the authentication factors of MFA?

Knowledge: It refers to information that only the user should know, such as a password, PIN, or answers to security questions. However, knowledge factors need to be more secure due to the prevalence of phishing attacks, password theft, and the accidental sharing of personal information on social media.

Possession: It refers to physical objects that only the user should have access to, such as smartphones, hard tokens, and smart cards. To confirm the identity, possession factors may involve receiving a one-time passcode sent to a smartphone using a unique code generated by a physical token.

Biometrics: It uses unique physical traits to verify the identity of a user. Biometrics may include fingerprint scans, voice or facial recognition, and retinal scans. Because biometrics require specialised hardware for scanning, organisations must ensure that users have access to the necessary equipment before implementing this authentication factor.

Overall, MFA provides an added layer of security by requiring at least two authentication factors from different categories to confirm a user's identity, making it more difficult for unauthorised parties to access sensitive information.

Why do you use MFA?

The primary purpose of Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is to improve the security and safety of business operations and information. The effectiveness of a security system is determined by the number of layers or factors included in the software. By introducing two or more authentication factors, the security of sensitive information can be significantly enhanced, making it more difficult for hackers to gain unauthorised access.

MFA allows passwords to be eliminated, which can be a significant usability improvement. The average user has many accounts across various platforms, and managing complex passwords for each account can be a real challenge for most users. While password managers do help, resetting passwords is still a common event that adds unnecessary friction to accessing online accounts.

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) can be necessary to comply with specific industry regulations. In some cases, organisations are already required by state or local laws to implement MFA in particular circumstances.

How is MFA different from 2FA?

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) and two-factor authentication (2FA) are security methods that require users to provide additional authentication factors beyond just a username and password.

Number of Factors: For MFA to validate the user's identity, it requires a minimum of two authentication factors, in contrast to 2FA, which only needs two factors.

Type of Factors: Authentication factors for MFA can include various combinations, ranging from familiar things like passwords to biometrics such as fingerprints and objects like tokens.

Security Level: There are certain levels of security, with MFA being regarded as more secure than 2FA because it verifies a user's identity through multiple factors. The use of additional factors makes it difficult to gain entry in cases where one factor is broken into. Although 2FA can still work, it could be more secure since it only requires two factors.

2FA is a type of MFA. However, MFA offers a more robust security solution by incorporating multiple authentication factors to ensure that only authorised users can access sensitive information.

What are the benefits of an MFA?

Enhanced Security: MFA provides a customisable security solution by requiring users to provide multiple credentials before accessing accounts, which prevents hackers from using stolen passwords or devices to gain access.

Flexible Security Solution: Each authentication factor offers multiple options, allowing enterprises to tailor the user experience to meet their needs. Most cases require three authentication factors, while two are sufficient for some.

Single Sign-On (SSO): MFA is compatible with Single Sign-On (SSO), eliminating the need for multiple unique passwords and reducing the risk of reusing the same password for different applications.

Accommodating the user base: MFA is scalable and can be set up for all types of users, including employees, customers, and partners, making it adaptable to changing business needs.

Increased user Trust: Customers value the security of their data. Despite the inconvenience arising from additional verification steps, customers have confidence in and respect for companies that prioritise measures to safeguard their information.

Efficient and secure OTG: In today's world, many transactions are done online or through mobile devices. Over-the-top (OTT) applications such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger permit users to purchase within the app. As a result, there is a need for better security measures, including multi-factor authentication, to prevent fraud.

What are the disadvantages of an MFA?

Implementing multi-factor authentication can be time-consuming: Adding extra steps to the authentication process can slow down access to systems or applications. Additionally, configuring MFA for employees and external partners takes time and resources. However, the extra time investment can pay off in the long run by reducing the risk of security breaches and data loss. That's why identify security first to make MFA process safe.

MFA requires investment: Setting up an MFA requires resources in terms of time and money. Businesses typically need to outsource the setup and maintenance of MFA solutions. While there is a cost associated with MFA, the consequences of a security breach or data loss can be far more significant. Therefore, investing in MFA can save the business money by preventing costly security incidents.

Dilutes the user experience MFA improves security but also reduces the time to value for a user. This, in turn increases the bounce rate for applications. 

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Copyright © Arcana Technologies Ltd. All rights reserved.

Schedule a Demo

The call is completely free and no commitment is required.

Copyright © Arcana Technologies Ltd. All rights reserved.

Schedule a Demo

The call is completely free and no commitment is required.

Schedule a Demo

The call is completely free and no commitment is required.

Schedule a Demo

The call is completely free and

no commitment is required.