• Mikaila Menezes

Multifactor Authentication: What It Is and How It Might Evolve

Did you know that the global fraud and detection market is worth an estimated $23 Billion? This market is further expected to grow at around 15% until 2028 with growing concerns regarding digital fraud. Despite technological advancements facilitating ease of payment and keeping your data safe, criminal enterprises always seem to be one step ahead and you may still fall victim to an attack.


Do you know what multifactor authentication is and how it protects you? Read on below to find out what it is and how it might evolve very soon!



What Is Multifactor Authentication?


Multifactor authentication is a technology that requires multiple methods of identification from independent credentials to be able to verify a user's identification for a login or for a transaction to take place.


What multifactor authentication sets out to do is increase the number of steps one needs to take before accessing an account or making a payment thus making the transaction or login more secure. This method protects a computer from multiple angles of attack.


The goal of MFA is to create multiple layers of defense, you can think of it as having a key code to enter a building, and the same principle applies. If one factor is broken, the attacker still has one or more barriers to deal with before successfully breaking into the target, this makes the attack more time-consuming and more difficult.


What Are the Pros and Cons of Multifactor Authentication?


Ultimately, MFA was introduced to harden security access to systems and applications through hardware and software. The goal was to make double sure that the person doing the transaction is the right person.


The downside to MFA is people often forget the answers to the questions that verify their identity and some people even share personal ID tokens or passwords with attackers without even knowing. Multifactor authentication has advantages and disadvantages that can be seen below:


Advantages

  • Adds layers of security

  • Can you one-time-pins sent to users cellphone that is generated in real-time and is hard to hack

  • Reduces security breaches by 99%

  • Easy to set up

  • Businesses can opt to restrict access

  • More affordable for smaller businesses

Disadvantages

  • A phone is needed to receive a text message

  • Tokens can get lost or stolen

  • Phone can get stolen or lost

  • Biometrics data isn’t always a hundred percent accurate

  • Verification can fail due to network outage or power failure

  • Techniques must be constantly upgraded


What Is Cloud Multifactor Authentication?


Cloud MFA protects applications and data without the administrative and hardware cost associated with on-site MFA. With cloud MFA you get all the security as per on-site MFA, except all the data is stored in the cloud and almost everything can be done remotely.


More importantly, cloud MFA lets organizations turn over the challenges of on-site MFA to experts so they can remain focused on their core business. Cloud MFA can be outsourced to companies who specialize in data protection, instead of having to keep in-house employees up-to-date with the latest software and equipment, which can be a daunting task.


Using cloud MFA has a few benefits over on-site MFA and should be considered by most small to medium enterprises:


  • Cloud-based MFA integrates easily with a companies resources and is easy to use

  • Cost saving: unlike on-site MFA where you need to purchase expensive equipment and have staff to monitor and maintain it.

  • Cloud MFA easily adapts to an organization's needs.

What Is the Future of Multifactor Authentication?


The future of multifactor authentication isn’t about more complex passwords and better multifactor authentication. Instead, most authentication will happen in the background invisible to the consumer, much like the way credit card companies do fraud detection.


The future of multifactor authentication could look something like this: you will probably need to register on every device you have during your first use. After that, the device and services you register will learn what your normal behaviours are, for example, what you spend monthly, how much you spend at one-time, what time of the month you spend money and any other key information with regards to spending habits.


Future systems might not only identify the password you typed in but the system you are logging into might pay attention to how long it took you to type in the password, the way you type in the password, and how long it took your fingers between particular key-stroke combinations. They will not only look for the right password but also try to figure out if the way you typed it in was normal.


Now imagine this type of evaluation of everything you do across hundreds of attributes, behaviours, choices and if you do something abnormal, your risk score will go up and some additional authentication will be presented for you to confirm.


For example, if you go in every day to a stock account to view your stocks and make a few small and maybe some large trades. If one day your stocks site detects you are trading all your stocks at once or cashing out into a new bank account that you haven’t used before, that will now require further authentication via a phone call or something else. Abnormal events in your life, that can occasionally happen, will require further authentication. All future multifactor authentication will be controlled by AI and algorithms.


Cybercrime Will Never End


Indeed, cybercrime will never go away or simply end. By continuously updating systems like multifactor authentication and keeping ahead of the criminals, enterprises can keep cyber attacks down to a minimum.


Do you feel the digital side of your business may be under attack? Not sure what to do about it? Head on over to our service page, do a vulnerability study and find out how susceptible your company is to a cyber attack!