In an era of ever-increasing cyber security threats and attacks, any loopholes in your network security cannot be afforded. You might think enforcing the standard security measures like antiviruses, firewalls and encryption software are enough to secure your data. However, according to a study, 81% of hacking-related breaches were the result of weak or stolen passwords. Imagine having a hoard of sophisticated measures in place, only to be thwarted by your own negligence! Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a technique that tackles the problem of traditional password and user authentication systems falling short to protect your system.
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MFA identifies a user wishing to access a system by validating two or more user claims, each from a different category. The most common categories of factors used for the authentication process are – something you know (your passwords or PINs), something you are (fingerprints or facial recognition) and something you possess (OTPs, employee ID cards or SIM cards). Other factors considered could be your current location and/or your current time.
How Does Multi-Factor Authentication enhance security?
Even if a hacker somehow manages to obtain your password, these multiple levels of identity check require data only you can be privy to. Anyone with malicious intent will find it extremely hard to get answers to personal security questions or obtain your fingerprints. Thus, MFA grants the extra level of security to stop a hacker right in their tracks.
Types of Multi-Factor Authentication
There are several types of checks you can use for implementing MFA. Some of these include –
These include small physical devices like key fobs and smart cards with card readers that you can carry around with you.
These are security applications that generate a single-use login PIN for user authentication. Here, your mobile device itself serves as a security token.
Here, your identity is authenticated by an automated phone call.
This is where your physical features such as fingerprints, retina scans, face, and voice are used to confirm your identity.