MFA Support and How It Works

MFA Support and How It Works

Your multi-factor authentication (MFA) implementation needs the right technologies to work effectively. Sure, you can cobble together a few different technologies and manually manage the process. However, that approach is a recipe for frustration and burnout. Instead, you need to choose software solutions that are flexible in terms of MFA support.

How Avatier Approaches MFA Support

Unlike other identity and access management solutions, Avatier emphasizes options and flexibility for MFA support. Right now, you might use simple one-time passcodes for MFA. Next year, you might suffer a data breach and decide to add biometric authentication. If you have a single identity and access management solution, adding support for biometrics might be so time-consuming that you choose not to pursue it. When you select Avatier, you will enjoy support for all of these authentication options. That means you can avoid wasting time involved in constantly migrating to different identity and access management solutions.

Your MFA Options With Avatier 

So what exact MFA support options do you get with Avatier? As of early 2020, you can get support with these options. 

  • One-Time Passcode (OTP) by Email or SMS. This authentication option is the right choice if you want to empower users on mobile devices.
  • FIDO2. Want to leverage everyday technology like smartphones in your multi-factor authentication program? Take advantage of Avatier’s support for FIDO2.
  • DUO Security
  • Google Authenticator. This is a good option to consider if your company already uses Google apps and tools like Google Suite.
  • Okta. If you already know and use Okta, you can seamlessly integrate Okta with Avatier.
  • PingIdentity
  • RSA SecurID
  • Symantec VIP
  • Yubico. The Yubikey hardware authentication is an excellent option to increase MFA adoption, especially in organizations where few people have smartphones.
  • WebAuthn. Connecting with this tool gives you support for password-free login.

Add it together, and most organizations will be covered from a multi-factor authentication perspective. The variety of MFA options is particularly important for larger organizations. You may have one department that wants to use Google Authenticator while another group prefers one-time passcodes. With Avatier, you can support both departments without sacrificing your program.

Simple Ways To Improve Your MFA Implementation

Connecting Avatier to an MFA tool is just the beginning of designing a successful program. You also need to train IT and end-users on the right ways to use MFA tools.

  • MFA Training. For instance, explain the limitations of one-time passcodes. Your system may default to expiring those codes in less than an hour. If end-users do not act quickly to log in, the authentication effort will fail. Next, you need to look into reporting.
  • Multi-Factor Authentication Reporting and Monitoring. Reports are valuable because they will tell you how end users are behaving. You may find out that 95% of users are using FIDO2 authentication. In that case, you might decide to reduce or eliminate support for other options. Set your MFA reporting metrics to align with risk and productivity.
  • MFA Security Testing. As a security mechanism, how do you know if your system has significant security weaknesses? Engaging an outside company to conduct penetration testing and similar efforts is one good way to put your MFA system through its paces. If the MFA process is hacked, your entire infrastructure could be at risk.
  • MFA Redundancy. If an MFA implementation suddenly stops working, your users may be locked out of their computers. If you rely on a single MFA provider, you are more likely to experience a failure. That’s why Avatier is built to support multiple MFA options. You can choose one or two systems as your primary MFA option and then choose another as a backup. To verify all these systems are working, we recommend testing each system regularly through your business continuity program.

 Enhancing Your MFA Program With Other Software Solutions

At a certain point, you will run out of ways to optimize your multi-factor authentication program. You may have 100% of users using it for instance. Your next move, in that case, will be to look at other aspects of IT security. All you need is one weak link in your program to experience a data breach. Here are a few tools you can use to tighten your security defenses further.

  • Equip Users with 24/7 Password Reset Service. Your business users have urgent work to complete. Asking them to wait on hold for 10 minutes or longer for a password reset is not a good idea. Increase your password reset speed by using Apollo, an IT security chatbot. To make life easier, you can interact with Apollo by Slack, Skype and webchat. Your users do not have to install anything.
  • Simplify IT Security Compliance. Failing an IT security audit or governance review is frustrating. Failing an audit because you had incomplete records is even worse. Fortunately, this problem is easy to prevent. Use Compliance Auditor to track and monitor your identity and access management changes in one place.
  • Streamline Identity and Access Management Set Up. Each time a new employee joins the organization, they need to get user accounts and permissions set up. That is a major hassle for managers to oversee. There is a better way! Use Group Enforcer to give employees standard permissions. For example, you can provide all of your customer support representatives with the same user access permissions.

Winning Internal Support

Whether you are aiming to improve your multi-factor authentication program or make another change, you need to line up internal support. Your IT security budget may be fully allocated, for example. In that case, you will need to win approval from management for an additional budget to purchase a security software solution. The simplest way to win approval for a new software purchase is to look at other similar purchases. For example, find out how the marketing department won budget approval to purchase a marketing automation app. That prior approval will give you information on how to craft a winning business case for MFA and other security software.

Written by Nelson Cicchitto