What is Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)?

Nowadays, the factors of cybersecurity and digital security are extremely important for the reliable protection of your data. After all, most of our personal information and important data is on the Internet.

To ensure that this data is not easily accessible for malicious manipulation, it is worth using multi-factor authentication. Therefore, let’s take a closer look at the MFA definition, and technology of its application, and discuss the MFA importance for protecting your information online.

The Different Factors in Multi-Factor Authentication

In general, the concept of identification is quite complex and therefore includes several factors. And if the general definition of identification is the protection of your page as a whole, then the identification factors determine which methods will be used to protect it.

In general, experts identify three factors of protection. Namely, knowledge, possession, and inherence. Therefore, we will describe each of the options in more detail below.

Knowledge Factor: Passwords and PINs

The first factor is a password or pin code. This is a random combination that should be known only to the user. Here, password strength used by the client plays an important role. For example, a standard numeric password using one or two digits or symbolic dates may be easy enough for unauthorized users to guess.

Instead, password security best practices occur when a customer mixes random numbers or uses symbols and letters of different sizes (when it comes to passwords). This can increase the effectiveness of the security combination well.

However, MFA passwords are only the first step to fully authenticating an account. Therefore, after entering the correct password, the system will ask you to complete the second stage of verification.

Possession Factor: Tokens and Smartcards

This factor is based on the features of “ownership,” which is something that only a specific user has. It can be either MFA tokens or smartcards for authentication.

However, today there are some disagreements regarding the choice: “hardware tokens vs software tokens” and which one should be preferred. A hardware token is a physical device that helps to authenticate (in particular, it can be USB tokens, certain keychains, and wireless options).

If we talk about software tokens, these will be virtual tools stored directly on your (not a separate) device. Each option has several advantages and disadvantages, so it is up to you to choose which token to use.

Inherence Factor: Biometrics and Behavioral Analysis

The last step is the factor that is directly related to the biological characteristics of the client. These are authentication factors such as something you know, something you have, or something you are.

This verification factor includes MFA biometrics, which uses a person’s physical characteristics to confirm authentication. For example, multi-factor authentication methods include fingerprint recognition, facial recognition technology for authentication, and so on.

Biometrics is a very important step, as only the owner with the right biological and behavioral characteristics will have access to a personal profile.

The Advantages of Implementing MFA in Business and Personal Accounts

The use of multifactor authentication in practice will offer customers the following main advantages:

       Increased security measures with multi-factor authentication implementation;

       Individual access to corporate or personal information of the user;

       Confidence and a sense of security when using all MFA factors;

       Account security from unauthorized authorizations to the system by unauthorized persons.

In general, MFA benefits include comprehensive protection of your account or business account. As a result, no important personal information will be leaked without your permission, and only you will have access to the page.

Common Challenges and Solutions When Using MFA Systems

Sometimes, users who are just starting to get acquainted with the properties and functionality of multi-factor authentication are worried about possible MFA system challenges.

For example, one of the most common issues that customers often worry about is having to go through MFA every time they log out. The audience is worried that it can take a lot of time in a situation where they urgently need to access a page.

However, it’s worth noting that MFA can be configured to go through all the authentication factors only once when you first log in. And then use the password or pin code method for subsequent times.

Other user adoption challenges in multi-factor authentication systems can be easily fixed after prolonged use of the system and familiarization with the rules (if necessary).

Strengthen Your Digital Security with Multi-Factor Authentication

Multifactor authentication is an important aspect that can increase our network security and privacy. MFA methods provide thorough profile protection that depends both on standard digital combinations and on the user’s biological link to their account. Therefore, to minimize the risks of your personal or corporate account being stolen, you can easily implement multi-factor protection on your network pages.

Using MFA will directly improve digital security. That is why the protection system is used not only by individual customers. This issue is also highly emphasized by individual business companies that are concerned about digital security and the “information silence” of the institution. This is to ensure that no documentation, reporting, or plans developed fall into the hands of intruders.