Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) Is Ready for Prime Time

We’ve heard it time and again. As security threats increase and morph, and user devices and locations diversify, multi-factor authentication (MFA) should be blossoming into a trusted method for preventing misuse. Experts have consistently stated that enterprises need to implement protections at vulnerable points and apply effective access security mechanisms such as MFA. So, what’s the deal?  The Deloitte and Uber breaches, both incidents which took place last fall, demonstrated that these episodes were aided by the lack of MFA. These proof points alone should in fact create an urgency in MFA implementation and usage within organizations! Then… why haven’t organizations flocked to implementing MFA?

Reasons such as cost and complexity have traditionally been cited as factors. With IT budgets and staff time already pulled in various directions, no one wants to add complexity to manage “another” vendor. However, the one reason that stands above all others that I’ve heard time and time again is regarding the user experience. Many users associate MFA with older methods that implement MFA as “on” or “off,” frequently burdening the user and inconveniencing them. It’s a challenge that’s plagued IT since MFA’s inception. MFA is only successful for individuals when the technology is ubiquitous and as transparent and easy-to-use as possible. If this doesn’t happen, how is it any better than having a different password for every application? <insert sarcasm here>

MFA Everywhere – Fundamental to Zero Trust Security

Aside from these commonly cited challenges, the benefits of adopting MFA clearly outweigh the short-term trials. At Centrify, a central tenet of our Zero Trust Security strategy focuses around identity assurance, evaluating the security posture of a user based on location, device and behavior to determine users are who they say they are. MFA enables verification of the user and is incorporates this for all users (including employees, contractors, outsourced IT, partners and customers) in all use cases (including cloud and on-premises apps, VPNs, network devices, and cloud and on-premises servers, etc.).

Unlike other vendors that only provide MFA for a subset of users and resources, Centrify has always delivered an “MFA Everywhere” model, natively integrating our MFA capabilities across all our products. We’ve never viewed MFA for solely the most sensitive accounts nor as a standalone silo. Moreover, we’ve always understood that MFA needs to be adaptive, smart, and based on context — incorporating location, device details, network, and user attributes for flexible context based policies.

Centrify delivers Zero Trust Security through the power of Next-Gen Access, which incorporates core technologies such as MFA, but also uniquely converges Identity-as-a Service (IDaaS), enterprise mobility management (EMM) and privileged access management (PAM) in one platform.

Read more about our Zero Trust Security approach.