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Implement multi-factor authentication
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According to global statistics:

  • Hackers use weak or stolen credentials for 95 percent of all web application attacks.
  • In a span of seven years, there has been an over 27.5 percent upsurge in the number of successful data breaches.
  • Roughly 31 percent of all cyberattacks target businesses with less than 250 employees.
  • Every 39 seconds, a hacker tries to steal data.
  • The average cost of a data breach is approximately $3.9 million.

In this day and age, when cybersecurity is constantly challenged by new and evolving techniques, these facts tell us why we need to implement additional layers of authentication for critical resources and data.

What is multi-factor authentication?

Multi-factor authentication is a process that verifies users with two or more authentication factors. Since passwords are susceptible to attacks and can be easily obtained, multi-factor authentication grants ironclad protection for your data, and reduces the likelihood of a successful cyberattack.

 

How does multi-factor authentication work?

In order to distinctly identify users, multi-factor authentication uses something they know, something they have, and something they are. In other words, it uses a knowledge factor, a possession factor, and an inheritance factor.

  • Knowledge factor: This is something only the legitimate user knows, like a password or a PIN. It is the first security layer.
  • Possession factor: Here, authentication is performed with something the user possesses, like a mobile phone. For example, this could be a code generated via an app on the phone, or communicated to the user through an automated call.
  • Inheritance factor: This factor uniquely identifies the user, and it is easily the safest form of authentication. Here, the user’s identity is verified using biometrics, like facial or voice recognition, or their fingerprint.

While going through these layers during authentication could be time-consuming, it has its benefits. The knowledge factor is the first layer of defense, and it's prone to several attacks. However, even if the attacker obtains the knowledge factor, they would have to crack the possession factor, which is not possible unless they have access to the legitimate user's mobile phone, email, or other applications. In case the attacker deciphers the possession factor, it's still not feasible to obtain the user's inheritance factor without their consent.

Now that you've got the gist of multi-factor authentication and how it works to secure user identity and data, we'll walk you through the causes leading to its demand, benefits, and much more.

Why should you use multi-factor authentication?

Passwords are easy targets: With phishing, brute force, credential stuffing, keylogger, and many other types of password attacks at their disposal, it has become easier for hackers to obtain passwords. If a user account is only guarded by passwords, the door is wide open for malicious users and bots to march in and ransack data.

Unauthorized access to privileged accounts could be catastrophic: Privileged accounts, such as admin or C-level executive accounts, are often prone to attack. If an attacker gets hold of the credentials of any of these accounts, they’ll have access to the most important data and resources in the network, and the repercussions could be irreversible. To reduce risk, organizations must protect their high-risk accounts with an additional layer of security.

Small businesses are targeted at a growing rate: Since developing enterprises are constantly exposed to various cyberattacks, it’s essential that they add as many security layers as possible to protect their data.

Multi-factor authentication provides additional defense: Since the advent of cloud applications, the need for tighter security has only increased. By adding additional factors for identity verification, like an email token and SMS token, multi-factor authentication poses quite a challenge to hackers. They now not only have to decipher passwords but also break in to users' email accounts or mobile phones, which is definitely an onerous task.

 
 

Benefits of multi-factor authentication

  • Reduces the risk of getting breached:

    The loss of money, reputation, trust, and data that ensues after a data breach is irrevocable. Comparatively, the cost and effort required to roll out multi-factor authentication is infinitesimal.

  • Improved security:

    Many traditional cybersecurity measures, like anti-virus software, firewalls, and encryption tools, can be bypassed if hackers compromise them. However, multi-factor authentication is a simple solution that offers ironclad measures to protect data.

  • Improved customer trust:

    Extra identity checks ensure data security, and this builds customer trust.

  • Multi-factor authentication is familiar:

    With users constantly exposed to multi-factor authentication on several platforms, like banking, gaming, and email services, they're already accustomed to the steps and measures associated with it. It won’t take long for employees to pick up multi-factor authentication after you introduce it to your organization.

Implement multi-factor authentication for your organization in a few simple steps with ManageEngine ADSelfService Plus.

Download the trial version now.

Roll out multi-factor authentication
with ADSelfService Plus

ManageEngine ADSelfService Plus is an integrated self-service password management and single sign-on solution. It supports a wide range of authentication factors, including fingerprint and Face ID authentication, YubiKey, Google Authenticator, push notification, and SMS verification. With its user-friendly console, you can roll out multi-factor authentication for your organization in just a few clicks.

  • Set up multi-factor authentication for machine logons
  • Configure multi-factor authentication for VPN logons
  • Multi-factor authentication for password self-service operations

It’s estimated that 70 percent of data breaches occur on endpoints—laptops, servers, and workstations. Implementing multi-factor authentication on endpoints and internet-facing machines reduces the risk of sensitive data leaks, even when passwords are compromised.

ADSelfService Plus facilitates multi-factor authentication during logins on Windows, macOS, and Linux endpoints. With this feature enabled, users have to authenticate themselves first through Active Directory (AD) domain credentials and then through two or more of authentication factors.

Virtual private networks (VPNs) are used to provide remote access to internal applications. A VPN creates a secure, encrypted tunnel through which a private network can be accessed across the internet. This proves beneficial when users need to access internal resources while traveling or working out of the office.

Since VPN gateways are directly accessible through the internet and are one of the most sought-after targets, it is essential to create a strong defense. In some cases, your VPN provider might even be snooping on your data without your knowledge. ADSelfService Plus enables you to set up multi-factor authentication for VPN logons in just a few simple steps. This barricades unauthorized access even when credentials are compromised.

Allowing self-service password resets can be a real boon to your organization. Besides drastically reducing admin workload, self-service also improves employee performance, as users no longer have to put their work on hold until their password reset tickets are resolved.

Since attackers are always on the prowl for weak spots, you want to ensure your password reset service doesn’t have any. By utilizing the several authentication mechanisms provided by ADSelfService Plus, you can make sure your password self-service doesn’t act as a gateway for attackers and malicious bots.

Authentication factors supported
by ADSelfService Plus:

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