MFA stands for multi-factor authentication. It refers to the use of more than one means of identification to access a secure software system. Usually, MFA security uses a combination of traditional security measures, like keycards and passwords, and biometric measures, like retinal scans.
A subset of MFA security, which uses two, three, or more authentication measures, 2FA security uses two.
The vast majority of security breaches come from weak passwords or insecure devices. By relying on more than one verification mechanism, at least one of which is unique to the individual user, the software system and all it contains remains secure and safe.
Companies require secure access to data for their employees and for their customers. Their security system, therefore, must store employee and customer biometric data.
Companies should use other security safeguards, as well, such as tiered access that enables only senior employees to, for example, transfer funds above a certain amount. Setting up security alerts when the system is accessed by a new device or from a novel location also strengthens security.
Many companies also provide employees with randomly-generated passwords to at least ensure that this traditional authentication method is as strong as possible.
MFA security systems must use up-to-date privacy and security regulations—particularly if they work in the financial or healthcare industries. Developers should also keep abreast of security news, to prepare for new potential threats.
Some companies may consider cross-device identity and geolocation data more useful than essential, particularly if they don’t deal in highly sensitive information or don’t have need for remote employee access.
In addition, companies are increasingly moving toward password-free security systems, so expect that soon even these traditional security measures will be redundant.
Security and privacy concerns are some of the main challenges of MFA security, particularly for customers. Their data cannot be held in a database accessible by company employees, so cloud-based and block-chain solutions have become effectively mandatory for many companies.
Additionally, security threats are consistently evolving. Hackers can now fool physical biometric security scans, prompting companies to move to behavioral biometric measures. And with this encroachment on safety, companies must consistently upgrade their security systems, which can be a costly endeavor.
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[Security industry leaders from across the world] reported that more than 77% of their employees have been working remotely this year and they expect this to continue and not ask employees to return to the office at all. […] An overwhelming majority are relying on multi-factor authentication (84.3%) and SSL VPNs (81.9%) for secure remote access.
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