What is Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) and How Does it Work?
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How Does MFA work?
MFA Abbreviation. MFA. Multi-Factor Authentication + 1 variant. Technology, Computing, Computer Security. Technology, Computing, Computer Security. MFA. Multi Factor Authentication. Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) is an authentication method that requires the user to provide two or more verification factors to gain access to a resource such as an application, online account, or a VPN. MFA is a core component of a strong identity and access management (IAM) policy. Rather than just asking for a username and password, MFA requires one or more additional verification factors, which . Rating. MFA. Museum of Fine Arts. Community» Museums. Rate it: MFA. Master of Fine Arts. Academic & Science» Academic Degrees.
Multi-factor Authentication MFA is an authentication method that requires the user to provide two or more verification factors to gain access to a resource such as an application, online account, or a VPN.
Rather than just asking for a username and password, MFA requires one or more additional verification factors, which decreases the likelihood of a successful cyber attack. The main benefit of MFA is it will enhance your organization's security by requiring your users to identify themselves by more than a username and password.
While important, usernames and passwords are vulnerable to brute force attacks and can be stolen by third parties. Enforcing the use of an MFA factor like a thumbprint or physical hardware key means increased confidence that your organization will stay safe from cyber criminals.
MFA works by requiring additional verification information factors. With OTPs a new code is generated periodically or each time an authentication request is submitted. The code is generated based upon a seed value that is assigned to the user when they first register and some other factor which could simply be a counter that is incremented or a time value.
Examples of Multi-Factor Authentication include using a combination of these elements to authenticate:. As MFA integrates machine learning and artificial intelligence AI , authentication methods become more sophisticated, including:.
Adaptive Authentication analyzes additional factors by considering context and behavior when authenticating and often uses these values to assign a level of risk associated with the login attempt. For example:. The risk level is calculated based upon how these questions are answered and can be used to determine whether or not a user will be prompted for an additional authentication factor or whether or not they will even be allowed to log in.
Thus another term used to describe this type of authentication is risk-based authentication. Whereas, when they log in from the office every day at 9 am they are simply prompted to provide their username and password.
Cyber criminals spend their lives trying to steal your information and an effective and enforced MFA strategy is your first line of defense against them.
An effective data security plan will save your organization time and money in the future. MFA is often used interchangeably with two-factor authentication 2FA. As companies move their systems to the cloud they can no longer rely upon a user being physically on the same network as a system as a security factor. Additional security needs to be put into place to ensure that those accessing the systems are not bad actors.
As users are accessing these systems anytime and from anyplace MFA can help ensure that they are who they say they are by prompting for additional authentication factors that are more difficult for hackers to imitate or use brute force methods to crack.
And there are a few limitations. For example, you only have four basic options when it comes to what type of additional authentication factor they can use: Microsoft Authenticator, SMS, Voice and Oauth Token. You also might have to spend more on licensing depending on the types of options you want available and whether or not you want to control exactly which users will need to use MFA. Identity as a Service IDaaS solutions like OneLogin offer many more MFA authentication methods when it comes to authentication factors and they integrate more easily with applications outside of the Microsoft ecosystem.
Download the ebook to find out how you can use AI-powered multi-factor authentication MFA to help protect your company. Learn how authentication evolved from simple usernames and passwords to adaptive MFA in this fun infographic.
Why is MFA Important? How Does MFA work? For example: From where is the user when trying to access information? When you are trying to access company information? During your normal hours or during "off hours"? What kind of device is used? Is it the same one used yesterday? Is the connection via private network or a public network? Learn More. See how MFA can protect against many different, common types of cyberattacks.
Read More. View Checklist. The Evolution of Multi-Factor Authentication Learn how authentication evolved from simple usernames and passwords to adaptive MFA in this fun infographic. See Infographic.
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