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Multi-Factor Authentication — Is it Time to Go Beyond Two-factor?

From corporations to government agencies, Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) plays a crucial role in optimizing data security. But what if a hacker breaches both layers of security? While rare, it can happen. That’s why many businesses are adopting Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) to ensure security with a more sophisticated approach.

If compared with 2FA, MFA is a vast concept that includes more than two steps for verification and data access. Admins can require that their users provide multiple forms of verification to enhance data security. This typically includes standard password security plus other factors like one-time passwords (OTP), biometrics, security tokens, hardware-based authenticators, and much more.

As you consider MFA, here are a few reasons you might choose it instead of basic 2FA.

How Is Multi-Factor Authentication Better than Two-Factor Authentication?

Streamlined Security

As discussed above, MFA enhances data security by adding two or more layers of encryption. For instance, with MFA, a user could be required to provide a password, OTP verification, and biometrics in order to access financial data. With three layers of security, unauthorized users are extremely unlikely to access sensitive data.

Access Management

While Two-Factor Authentication is limited to a password and one other form of authentication, MFA gives admins the ability to customize access for users. Perhaps it’s easier for users to access data with an OTP versus using biometrics? Perhaps admins want more security by using both? MFA gives admins options for how their users gain access to sensitive information.

Reliable Authentication

MFA is more reliable than 2FA simply because it provides more layers of defense. Since it supports various authentication forms including security tokens, biometrics, push notifications, and digital signatures, MFA is a more reliable way of securing data. Along with that, a user can also add a layer of physical security with a YubiKey.

Complies With Regulatory Needs

Unlike 2FA, MFA complies with the regulatory needs like HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and CJIS (Criminal Justice Information Services) security policy. It not only prevents password security breaches but also reduces access to data by 99.9%. This is one major reason why top government agencies use MFA instead of 2FA for cybersecurity.

The Verdict

At the end of the day, MFA is a securer and more reliable solution than simple password security or 2FA. Most administrators will benefit from using 2FA at a minimum, but should consider adopting additional layers of security by way of MFA.

While MFA provides additional layers of security, nothing quite beats having data securely encrypted. Whether you belong to the finance or IT niche, Datalocker can help you find encryption solutions that work for you.