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Two-factor Authentication (2FA)

What is two-factor authentication (2FA)?

As the name indicates, 2FA uses two factors to verify users who attempt to log in to applications or endpoints. One of the factors is usually a password. The other could be anything ranging from an OTP or biometrics to a hardware token. The aim of the second authentication factor is to get users to prove their identities using secure factors, like something that only they know (security questions, passwords, PINs), something that only they have (SMS or email OTPs, smart cards, software tokens), or something that only they are (biometrics or behavioral analysis).

Passwords can no longer be considered the only reliable factor for authentication. Consider the following statistics:

  • Verizon states that 82% of data breaches involve human vulnerabilities, like social engineering, errors, and misuse.
  • It also states that there has been a 13% increase in ransomware breaches of late, which is an alarmingly high rate compared to the last five years combined.
  • According to password statistics put forth by dataprot, 51% of people use the same password for work and personal accounts. Moreover, 57% of people who have already been victims of phishing attacks still haven't changed their passwords.
  • Many infamous cyberattacks on large-scale industries such as the Colonial Pipeline and Ireland’s Health Service Executive started with one exposed password.

If passwords were the only mode of authentication, all it would take is one user's weak or stolen password to infiltrate your IT environment. A second factor of authentication alongside a password drastically reduces the chances of a successful cyberattack and solidifies your organization's security posture.

Double the protection against brute-force and dictionary attacks with ADSelfService Plus

ADSelfService Plus offers strong authenticators to enforce Active Directory 2FA for the following:

  1. Machine logins (Windows, macOS, and Linux systems)
  2. RDP and VPN logins
  3. Enterprise application logins through SSO
  4. OWA logins
  5. Offline logins to Windows and macOS machines
  6. Windows UAC prompts

How 2FA works with ADSelfService Plus

ADSelfService Plus's 2FA process works similarly for both application and endpoint logons. Each time a user requests access to a particular resource, they first have to verify their identity using a primary factor of authentication. This may usually, but not necessarily, be a password. Once the primary authentication is completed, the user is directed to perform the secondary authentication. ADSelfService Plus offers robust MFA capabilities that admins can configure for users as per your organization's preferences. After successfully completing the secondary authentication, users are granted access to the respective resource.

Below is an illustration of 2FA in ADSelfService Plus for a user trying to log on to their Windows machine.

ADSelfService Plus two-factor authentication (2FA)

Why choose ADSelfService Plus' 2FA?

ADSelfService Plus offers nearly 20 concrete authentication factors such as FIDO passkeys, YubiKey, smart card, and biometrics that admins can enable in just a few clicks. It also offers the flexibility to enable different authentication factors for different sets of users to ensure security without compromising productivity.

Multi-factor Authentication

Below are some of the authentication factors that ADSelfService Plus offers:

  1. FIDO passkeys
  2. Fingerprint
  3. Face ID authentication
  4. Duo Security
  1. Microsoft Authenticator
  2. Google Authenticator
  3. YubiKey Authenticator
  4. Email verification

Learn more about the 2FA authenticators that ADSelfService Plus supports.

Benefits of implementing 2FA using ADSelfService Plus

  • Secure multiple resources: Enforce 2FA to secure application, machine, VPN, RDP, and OWA logons with ADSelfService Plus.
  • Safeguard access: With a 2FA solution, ensure that even if a hacker steals a user's password, the hacker would still not be able to gain access to resources.
  • Comply with regulations: Comply with GDPR, PCI DSS, HIPAA, and NIST SP 800-63B compliance
  • Enhance user experience: Ensure ease of use without sacrificing security by configuring different levels of authentication factors for users with different levels of privileges.

Improve identity security with a second authentication factor

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1. What is Active Directory two-factor authentication?

Active Directory two-factor authentication (2FA) is a verification method used to secure Active Directory user identities with more than one factor of authentication before giving them access to resources.

2. Does my organization need 2FA for Active Directory identities?

Yes, implementing Active Directory 2FA with strong authentication factors like biometrics and smart card can defend better against modern-day cyberattacks when compared to the traditional username and password method. With Active Directory 2FA, you can enhance the overall security posture of your organization.

3. What Active Directory 2FA solution can I implement in my organization?

You can implement ADSelfService Plus, an integrated identity management solution, to secure all Active Directory identities in your organization. With ADSelfService Plus, you can employ customizable 2FA for online and offline machine logins, VPNs, Outlook on the web, application access, and self-service activities, like password reset and account unlock.

ADSelfService Plus offers 20 different authenticators for Active Directory 2FA, including YubiKey, biometrics, smart card, Microsoft Authenticator, and Duo Security. To learn more about ADSelfService Plus' 2FA capability, please schedule a personalized web demo with our product experts.


Password self-service

Free Active Directory users from attending lengthy help desk calls by allowing them to self-service their password resets/ account unlock tasks. Hassle-free password change for Active Directory users with ADSelfService Plus ‘Change Password’ console. 

One identity with Single sign-on

Get seamless one-click access to 100+ cloud applications. With enterprise single sign-on, users can access all their cloud applications with their Active Directory credentials. Thanks to ADSelfService Plus! 

Password/Account Expiry Notification

Intimate Active Directory users of their impending password/account expiry by mailing them these password/account expiry notifications.

Password Synchronizer

Synchronize Windows Active Directory user password/account changes across multiple systems, automatically, including Office 365, G Suite, IBM iSeries and more. 

Password Policy Enforcer

Ensure strong user passwords that resist various hacking threats with ADSelfService Plus by enforcing Active Directory users to adhere to compliant passwords via displaying password complexity requirements.

Directory Self-UpdateCorporate Search

Portal that lets Active Directory users update their latest information and a quick search facility to scout for information about peers by using search keys, like contact number, of the personality being searched.

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