4 Benefits Of Multi-Factor Authentication

4 Benefits Of Multi-Factor Authentication

What are the benefits of having multi-factor authentication?

  1. Stronger Identity Authentication
  2. Remote Work Security
  3. Easy Implementation
  4. Customizability

If you never thought about multi-factor authentication in the Philippines, you need to consider it now. From email accounts, bank accounts, and work databases—you need the right login credentials to gain access to these. But is having a simple username and password enough? If a hacker gains access to sensitive company information including assets and customer data—both money and people’s identities can be compromised. Interested in knowing more about multi-factor authentication benefits? Keep on reading!

Stronger Identity Authentication

Stronger Identity Authentication

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a multiple identity authentication process required before a user can gain access to specific data. Some examples include something a user knows, such as a password or a PIN. The others could be something that they have, such as a one-time verification code sent through a text message or a USB device. Lastly, it could be something that a user is, like biometrics. Some examples would be face ID, iris recognition, and the like. f.)

With these additional authentication methods, you’re providing more layers of security before data can be accessed by users. It can be implemented as a mandatory protocol for both employees and consumers so an organization can verify that an authorized user is requesting access—not someone that is pretending to be them.

This way, even if hackers successfully obtain login credentials—such as a username and a password—if they don’t have access to the other authentication methods, it’s difficult to gain access to an account.

Remote Work Security

Remote Work Security

In recent years, more organizations are moving to remote work environments. Workers are completing their office tasks from different locations and companies are benefiting from a more agile workforce and lower business expenses. But with employees accessing your network from personal devices and out-of-office environments, it becomes difficult to identify if the user requesting access is authorized.

Nowadays, cybercriminals are taking advantage of remote work to hack accounts and gain access to a system. Some users are baited with fake emails to steal usernames and passwords. This is called phishing, a technique to trick people that they’re receiving legitimate requests from an authorized institution, like a bank. Others also guess passwords through brute-force attacks.

If a hacker pretends to be an employee by using a stolen username and password, they can explore your business data freely. This gives them access to bank accounts and sensitive customer information that can lead to further identity theft and even loss of money. With additional verification processes that hackers don’t have—like biometrics, MFA can make it extremely difficult for outsiders to gain entry to your network. Your IT Team can also be notified of any abnormal login attempts.

Easy Implementation

Easy Implementation

When a person first hears about the concept of “multi-factor authentication”, they might think that having more verification methods can make it complicated to access data. Because you need to verify your identity with additional processes, some organizations get the impression that it can affect productivity — SMS OTPs in particular may arrive late to the user’s device.

However, multi-factor authentication can actually help your employees gain access to your system with less hassle. For example, Citrix Gateway provides a single access point to data and applications located in your data center and the cloud. It also provides single-sign on capability for faster access to company information. This service is available across laptops, desktops, smartphones, and tablets.

With single-sign-on (SSO) capability, you don’t have to require multiple complex passwords for different applications. This removes the burden of remembering numerous passwords for users and reduces the need for password resets for the IT team. As a result, they have more time for core activities and other more important tasks.

Customizability And Flexibility

Customizability And Flexibility

RSA’s SecurID provides a variety of authentication factors that allows more room for flexibility. With a range of MFA methods from biometrics to one-time-passwords, you can choose what option fits your organization best and require additional factors only when needed. You can even customize the levels of verifications according to the application type, location of the user, and more. Other than that, RSA SecurID can also detect user behavior. If a login attempt is tagged as high-risk, it will prompt more verification methods to ensure that the user is authorized. That means complying with additional OTP requests, RSA SecurID Token authentication, and more.

When it comes to flexibility, multi-factor authentication can be implemented on the cloud, on-premises, and hybrid cloud setups. Whether it’s remote or on-premises work, employees can more safely access and connect to the company network when logging into their accounts online.

Key Takeaway

If you want to make your data more secure, you can’t rely on passwords alone. With multiple tactics employed by hackers, it is possible to have this login credential stolen. To improve security, you can implement additional verification methods that can make it difficult to gain access to your network.

Ready to learn more about how multi-factor authentication benefits your organization? CT Link can help you maximize the features of RSA SecurID and Citrix Gateway, an IT solution that can make your business data more secure without affecting user experience. If you’re interested in other IT products and services, you can also send a message here!

3 Types Of Multi-Factor Authentication

3 Types Of Multi-Factor Authentication

What are the types of multi-factor authentication methods?

  1. Something You Know
  2. Something You Have
  3. Something You Are

Multi-factor authentication refers to two or more verification processes that a user must comply with before they can access an account, view data, or make a transaction. Compared to only username and password information, this method allows you to decrease the likelihood of hacking. If a hacker steals the password, he would have difficulty accessing an account if he doesn’t have the other credentials. To know how this works, continue reading to learn more about the types of multi-factor authentication methods.

Something You Know

Something You Know

Are you familiar with questions such as “What is your mother’s maiden name?” or “What was the street where you first lived?”. These are some of the examples of how knowledge-based authentication (KBA) works. It requires information that the user knows. This could be a second password, PIN, or an answer to a security question. It could either be Static KBA or Dynamic KBA.

Static KBA involves information that is provided by the user or an organization—such as a personal code or an answer to a security question such as “What is your first pet’s name?”. On the other hand, dynamic KBA requires you to answer questions from real-time data records like credit transactions. This is harder to guess than static KBA because a potential hacker can research background information about a user. If they personally know you, it is easy to generate an answer to a question such as “What is your mother’s maiden name?”.

For this reason, knowledge-based authentication is often combined with information that a user has and a user is. Because these two are harder to get a hold of, it makes it more difficult for hackers to access an account.

Something You Have

Something You Have

Another way to authenticate a user is by requiring something that you have. The most common example to be would be a one-time password that is sent through an SMS or voice message. The user needs to enter this password to gain access to their account. This would work best for people who have stable phone service or frequently access business data on their phones.

Other than a text message, a one-time password can also be sent to an email address. This is convenient for users who don’t always have their phones with them in the office due to a company’s security rules. Both SMS and email token authentication have a time limit before the password expires. If this happens, users can generate a new one.

Software token authentication is also a popular option to verify the identity of a user. Instead of sending the one-time password through text and email, you need to open a smartphone application that generates it for you.

Something else that an organization can give to a user for authentication is a USB device. This is used to connect to a person’s computer as an additional form of authentication. Because hardware is used to verify identity, it is considered one of the most secure methods available.

Something You Are

Something You Are

Lastly, some organizations prefer biometric authentication when controlling access to sensitive company data. The information you need to provide here is something that you are as a person. This refers to biometrics which could be any part of your body—such as a fingerprint, palm, face, retina, iris, or voice. This is one of the most difficult pieces of information for hackers to steal because it needs some effort to take possession of.

But you might be thinking, how would this work for remote workers? Offices might have special devices to scan these body parts but an employee working from home won’t have access to this expensive equipment. The good news is, biometric authentication can work on some smartphone and tablet devices. Most people already have gadgets that have built-in fingerprint scanners that can also be used to authenticate access to online banking and the like.

The advantage of biometric authentication is the speed a user can complete an authentication process. Instead of waiting for OTP, you can simply press on your fingerprints, align the authenticating device to your face, and more.

Key Takeaway

There are multiple types of multi-factor authentication. It can be categorized into something that you know, something that you have, and something that you are. While each one has its own set of pros and cons, combining different methods can help your organization protect important information much more effectively. Other than the examples listed above, the list of verification processes is continuously growing with the advancement of technology.

If you’re interested in getting multi-factor authentication solutions for your business, CT Link offers a variety of options that can suit your needs! This way, you can better secure your corporate data from cybercriminals. Click here if you have additional questions and inquiries.

Enhance your VPN security with Multifactor Authentication!

Enhance your VPN security with Multifactor Authentication!

Today, traditional username and password is no longer enough to ensure the security of your network. As users are likely to reuse passwords, credentials are vulnerable to leakage, which become additional potential entry points for threat actors.

This is because cyberattacks now indirectly target networks through your users and their devices. In the Philippines where virtual private network (VPN) is widely used to remotely access the corporate network, this becomes a prime target. With only traditional username and password as security in place, it is difficult to verify if the access request is from a legitimate user, and thereby, easily granting unrestricted access to your network.

So what can companies do to mitigate these threats? This is where multi-factor authentication (MFA) solutions like RSA SecurID come in.

Confidently authenticate users with RSA SecurID

To achieve a higher level of security for your network, you need an adaptive way to verify user identity before authenticating. By having an MFA solution in place, it minimizes the risks of allowing compromised user accounts into your network, especially with the huge repercussions as VPNs usually provide users a full access. This is done through authentication steps like approving via push notifications, biometrics, and one-time passwords. Access requests are also screened by SecurID’s risk analysis before access is granted.

When using a VPN, companies are unable to get the control and visibility that they need to ensure security of their network if user convenience is in consideration and vice versa. RSA SecurID eliminates this dilemma through the following:

Creating a single platform to access and authenticate when accessing the VPN, which eliminates the need of multiple MFA solutions on an on-app basis while maintaining compatibility for your legacy or modern (whether its on-prem, private, or public) applications.

Providing a high level of identity assurance that gives your security a strong mechanism for confirming users are who they say they are

Giving users a choice over how they authenticate (either through push notifications, biometric or one-time password)

Granting users a way to authenticate quickly and intuitively with real-time responses at no expense of productivity

On top of these, It is easy to deploy and manage. Users only need to download the SecurID app through their preferred app store (IoS, Android, or Windows) while administrators are able to manage all account through a single window.

If your company is looking for ways to improve your access gateway security whether it be for legacy applications, on-premise or cloud apps, SecurID has the capabilities to ensure identity assurance.

To learn more about RSA SecurID and multi-factor authentication solutions, fill out the contact form below and we will get back to you as soon as we can!

Five tips from Microsoft Detection and Response Team to minimize Advanced Persistent Threats

Five tips from Microsoft Detection and Response Team to minimize Advanced Persistent Threats

Microsoft’s Detection and Response Team (DART), in an effort to encourage the use of better security practices, is planning on sharing its experiences wit customers to let others know the methods of hackers.  One particular customer story just shows how some organizations are still lax when it comes to security as they had 6 different groups hacking their network in the same time period.

In the first report that they gave, there was details of an advanced persistent threat (APT) that was able to steal administrator credentials to steal sensitive data.  This attack persisted for 243 days, this was when DART was called in to help the customer.

One thing to note, this attack could have been prevented if a multi-factor authentication (MFA) was in place.  Microsoft says that almost 99.9% of compromised accounts do not use MFA, and only 11% of enterprise accounts use MFA.

When DART was in the process of removing the attacker on the system, that was when it discovered the other 5 intruders within the network.  The attackers were not coordinating the attack together, the main attacker used a password-spraying attack to get the credentials of the Office 365 admin.  They then searched the mailboxes for confidential emails that contained intellectual property in certain markets.

The company tried its best to resolve the attack in the first month, but then needed to call in an incident-response vendor to help.  It proved to become a lengthy investigation and after 7 months, Microsoft’s DART was called to help with the investigation.  They were able to eject the threat on the day they were assigned the task.

Below are a few Microsoft recommended ways in which to avoid the risk of APT attacks:

  • Enabling MFA
  • Removing legacy authentication
  • Giving enough training to first responders
  • Logging events properly with a security, information and event management product
  • Recognizing attackers use legitimate administrative and security tools to probe targets

To learn more about how you can keep your systems safe from APT attacks or other major attacks like ransomware, you can contact us at 8893 9515 or email us at sales@ctlink.com.ph and we would be happy to help you!