Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is used these days widely, in offices and in our personal lives. In situations involving third-party and organizational partnerships, remote access MFA may be used. As it is a way of controlling access to a network and keeping sensitive data secure, MFA is good to introduce for both.
Multi-Factor Authentication: The Basics
The MFA is a security framework that allows two or more authentication factors from different categories to validate a user’s identity when he logs in. One of the advantages of multi-factor authentication is layered security, which makes it harder for an unauthorized person to gain access to any sensitive information, such as personally identifiable information (PII) and protected health information (PHI).
So, how are third parties, suppliers, and contractors responding to this? Be sure to set up a protocol that uses a confidential, unique multi-factor authentication method when granting outside party access to your network, ensuring that only your approved users have remote access.
To put this protocol into effect, there are three common authentication factors MFA solutions use:
What the users know (e.g., username, password)
What the users have (e.g., a security token)
Who the users are (e.g., biometric verification)
Knowledge: What the user knows
The best passwords are regulated by a combination of letters (lower and upper case), numbers, and special characters. This is a great step to take in order to protect sensitive data from those who shouldn’t have access to it. Organizations need to be mindful of this, though and share this data with suppliers and clients while also ensuring that their password either includes letters, numbers, and characters or confuses the get-go password.
If your external vendors have to create their own passwords to access your network, it is important for them not to use the same password for all their accounts. It’s a lot better to remember your password, of course, because if someone steals your password, opening all of your accounts is easy for them.
Sixty-five percent of internet users use duplicate passwords. This means that if a cybercriminal can access one account, they are able to get into other accounts of the same individual. Secure yourself and your documents with an emphasis on distinctive passwords. Know, as users swap passwords or use less secure means to gain access, cybercriminals hack your network effectively.
Possession: What the user has
This may be a security token, which is a small device that a person has with them to approve their identity, such as a keycard. A security token pairs well with a PIN in order to further validate someone’s identity. An effective authentication strategy requires that the workers or vendors have two forms of authentication before accessing a network.
More and more firms, however, are moving away from stuff like a key fob and moving to check identity on smartphones and mobile devices. This alternative includes an SMS text message, telephone call, or email sent to the phone of the user, which we are all very familiar with.
Inherence: Who the user is
Biometric authentication has been popularized since its introduction to smartphones with features such as facial recognition/identification and/or the fingerprint scanner. It can be used for identity authentication or payment options and works better when paired with a second factor, like a password.
The first step toward building a realistic multi-factor authentication strategy is to integrate MFA into business practices and monitor vendors. Ultimately, make sure that all of your third-party access is controlled by a simple formula for secure identification, up-to-date credentialing, and multi-factor authentication. To further strengthen security measures and ensure that users are exactly who they claim to be when they sign in, add multi-factor authentication to each username.