Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is a simple authentication process where the user of a website or an application is asked to provide multiple layers of credentials to gain access to the resources they are visiting for. It helps in ensuring that everyone is exactly who they say they are, and helps avoid a lot of identity and security thefts.  

miniOrange Multifactor Authentication (MFA) adds an extra layer of security used to verify an end user’s identity when they sign in to an application or website.

You can set up MFA at your organization or application level. To learn more about MFA, checkout- About Multifactor Authentication (MFA)

Instead of  only asking for a username and password, MFA (Multi-Factor authentication) adds additional verification factors (OTP, push notifications, fingerprint, etc.) which indirectly halts cyber attacker’s activities like phishing, Malware, etc providing a high level of assurance and security. 

In simpler terms, you need to convince the system or online service of your identity more than once, so the system can detect if you have the right to obtain the data services that you’re trying to retrieve.

Multi-Factor Authentication MFA

The goal of leveraging MFA is to make a layered defense so even if one factor (username-password) is stolen or a targeted cyber attacker still has at least one more barrier to breach before successfully breaking into the actual targeted device. The second barrier is also usually harder to breach as compared to simple username passwords.

 

Why use Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)?

 

Here are some statistics about the state of internet security in the industry right now and the leaps you can make by implementing MFA –

 

  • In just 5 years between 2014 to 2019, there were losses worth a sum total of 2.1 Billion $ reported to the Internet Crime Control Center by businesses in the United States alone. source 
  • Over 1.2 Million Microsoft accounts are hacked every month, of which 99.9% do NOT have MFA enabled. This is a surprisingly obvious pattern. source
  • An official United States Government survey conducted showed that 9 out of 10 people who used MFA, felt more secure about their information. source 
  • 61% of people use the same password on multiple services. This is the easiest way to give up security and more than half the world is actively doing it. source  
  • The average employee has to remember 27 passwords. It is found that in a company with 250 employees, there are approximately 47 thousand passwords in use. source

 

The information is overwhelmingly clear. There is no doubt about the fact that if you are not actively securing your website/application with a layer of Multi Factor Authentication, it simply means that you are actively damaging the information security of all these users and all the resources that are being protected.

The need to start is urgent, but the best part is that the ways to start are already laid out. There are multiple well-trusted and widely used solutions that provide MFA features to avoid the problems highlighted by the statistics above. miniOrange also provides MFA solutions for battling against these.

 

How does MFA Work?

 

MFA works very well for improving security – the numbers don’t lie. Here’s how it works :

As the user attempts to gain access to a specific resource, they are prompted with multiple authentication factors, instead of only one. The user credentials are then verified by a core identity provider (IdP) or directory services platform. Once authenticated, the user gains access to the requested resource.

The most common MFA systems use a unique one-time passcode commonly known as OTP with every login attempt that you simply make. miniOrange also provides a more modern and secure sort of MFA which is “Push notification” on your smartphone. A push notification is sent to your registered smartphone and in order to gain access to your account, you’ve got to approve that notification. You can also use a hardware token to gain access to crucial resources using tokens such as Yubikey, or soft tokens via Google/Microsoft/miniOrange authenticator app.

 

What are different MFA methods?

 

supports a variety of methods for Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). We support the following authentication methods that ensure you have secure access to your site, application, or network.

  • OTP Over SMS / Email
  • Out of Band SMS / Email
  • Google Authenticator
  • Mobile Authentication
  • Push Notification
  • Soft Token
  • Display Hardware token
  • Yubikey hardware token
  • Security Questions
  • Phone verification
  • Voice verification

 

Adaptive Authentication or Risk-Based Authentication 

 

Combining all the given Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) factors adaptive authentication makes the way. Adaptive Authentication analyzes additional factors while authenticating. What adaptive authentication does is, it cross-checks basic factors before providing access to the visitor.

  1. The Device being used.
  2. The Location from which the user is trying to access the resource.
  3. The Time period / timezone in which the user is trying to access the resource.
  4. The Network, and the level of its security.

What adaptive authentication does is, tracks these questions and according to user behavior it prompts different multi-factor authentication, and depending on their authentication identity users will be allowed to log in. Adaptive authentication adds another advantage to MFA.

 

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) Use Cases:

 

There are multiple use cases where multi-factor authentication MFA is deployed. You can use MFA for organizations and institution’s websites, applications, networks, VPN. miniOrange provides the answer for various use cases, a number of them are Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) for VPN login, Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) for Stripe, and Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) for office 365 using Yubikey.

 

1.Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) for VPN login:

miniOrange provides Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) on top of VPN Authentication. This secures access to protected resources rather than counting on only the VPN username & password. To accomplish this miniOrange uses the RADIUS Protocol.

RADIUS stands for Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service, it’s a client/server protocol that gives client authentication and authorization.

The RADIUS server is liable for authenticating the users, while RADIUS clients are nothing but the Network Access Servers (NAS) which authenticate users with RADIUS servers and supported responses from RADIUS server grants/denies the access.

RADIUS VPN MFA Flow

 

2.Yubikey as a Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) for Microsoft Office 365

Microsoft provides MFA only via their default application with limited MFA methods and you can not configure any additional MFA authentication method. In some cases you need to spend an enormous amount for licensing and user differentiation, and if you need to activate or deactivate for the particular user you have.

If you are looking to use Yubikey or any other hardware token as an authentication method while accessing Office 365, it’s supported by miniOrange and can be integrated quickly.

miniOrange allows you to use Yubikey (or the other method from 15+ available MFA methods) as the multi-factor to login into your Office 365 or any of your Microsoft Applications.

 

3. MFA for VDI – Virtual Desktop Infrastructure:

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure offers a complete solution for managing and providing access to virtualized desktop environments hosted in the datacenter. 

MFA for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure enables organizations to securely simplify administration, reduce operating costs, increase the utilization of existing IT assets, and boost security by moving on from a vulnerable traditional desktop environment to MFA enabled VDI.

 

4. MFA for Web apps:

Our MFA can be enabled for any of your web-apps anywhere on the internet, to ensure a secure and efficient way of accessing your critical resources.

 

What are the benefits Of MFA?

  • Enhanced security:

    Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) decreases the probability that an attacker can mimic a user and may gain access to the system. miniOrange Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) solution allows users to log in using Username and OTP thus, preventing the necessity to enter the Password.

  • More productivity and flexibility

    Organizations are accepting mobility because it helps in increasing productivity. With mobile MFA employees can securely login and access corporate applications and resources from virtually any device and from any location, without putting the corporate network to risk.

  • Fraud Prevention:

    Multi-Factor Authentication verifies who you say you’re before letting you progress forward. It prevents unauthorized access to your website by providing a further layer of authentication.

  • Improved customer trust:

    MFA lets users assure about their personal info without extra effort.

  • Reduced operating costs:

    Implementing MFA reduces the probability of data breaches, resulting in reduced investment.

 

What is the difference between MFA, 2FA & Adaptive Authentication?

The major difference between 2FA and MFA is: In 2FA there are only two authentication methods: one traditional username-password and another one like (OTP, Push notifications). While in Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) there are no such restrictions, you can opt for multiple authentication methods according to your way. Combining all the given Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) factors adaptive authentication makes the way. Adaptive Authentication together analyzes additional factors while authenticating. What adaptive authentication does is cross-check basic factors before providing access.

 

Further Reading

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