The role of the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) is expanding just as threats to company data are growing more prevalent. Attacks are occurring more often, and it falls to leaders to set cyber priorities as a key business mandate. Weak or stolen user credentials remain the primary entry point for hackers, which is why authentication must be included in the overall security plan.
Multifactor authentication (MFA) is a security system that requires more than one form of authentication to verify the legitimacy of a transaction. Multifactor authentication combines two or more independent credentials: what the user knows (password), what the user has (security token) and what the user is (biometric verification). Forms of multifactor authentication can involve the use of a dedicated code generator that is tied specifically to an account, a smartcard or USB token assigned to the user, or biometrics like iris or fingerprint scans.
Good security is about being proactive and mitigating risk. Multifactor authentication increases security by adding another barrier to entry, decreasing the likelihood that a “pretender” can break in. It makes it harder for someone who has stolen a password to gain entry to a users account. Multi-factor authentication serves a vital function across all industry verticals as it secures access to corporate and government networks, protecting the identities of users, and ensuring that a user is who he claims to be. Evolving business needs and Government missions leveraging cloud applications and mobile devices, combined with rising threats, and the need to reduce costs, require multifactor authentication for access control and identity management.
There are three key questions that CISO’s are asking as they develop strong authentication controls for their organizations:
- Can I map access control methods to business risk and the needs of my users?
- Can I centrally manage, control and administer all my users and endpoints?
- Can I incorporate additional security layers to help me further fortify against threats?
Given that multifactor authentication security requires multiple means of identification, it is widely recognized as the most secure method for authenticating access to data and applications, and helps CISO’s answer these critical security questions. More than ever, organizations are looking for identity and access management solutions that deliver simplicity, automation, reduced TCO and choice.