Key Questions You Need to Ask When Buying a Multi-factor Authentication Solution

Using two weak authentication processes like passwords and tokens only creates a hindrance for IT departments without increasing security.

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Two factor authentication. Modern technology identity verification. Security code to access financial data online.
Two factor authentication. Modern technology identity verification. Security code to access financial data online. (Photo Credit: www.shutterstock.com)

by  | Biometric Authentication

Organizations everywhere are bolstering their cybersecurity plans through multi-factor authentication (MFA).

But before making a purchasing decision, you need to carefully weight different factors to ensure you’re selecting the MFA solution that best fits your company’s needs, including cost, efficiency, and ease of integration.

Here are three guiding questions you should answer before considering a multi-factor platform:

1. How does MFA fit into my security requirements?

MFA is lauded as the future of cyber protection. Complete with biometric authentication, it adds a level security that passwords will never reach. After deciding to switch, you need to build personas and set requirements for each persona coming into contact with the new platform.

This will help narrow down which platform is the best for your enterprise.

The following criteria are guidelines for setting up these personas:

User Requirements

  • Does the platform provide a seamless experience for its users?
  • How does the platform handle onboarding end users?
  • Does the platform allow for mobile authentication, and if so, does it support your end users’ devices?

IT Requirements

  • What authentication factors are needed to meet your security requirements?
  • If biometrics are used, how is the data collected, verified, and secured?
  • Does the platform allow for administrative overrides?
  • Does the platform provide, or integrate with, real-time threat detection?

Enterprise Requirements

  • Is the platform’s authentication app customizable?
  • Does the platform comply with the relevant privacy laws, such as the GDPR?

Consumer MFA Requirements

  • Does the platform support MFA for transaction approvals?

2. What are my limitations?

Budget and time constraints are major factors in deciding on a platform. Not only will you have to look at the total cost of ownership for the technology itself, but also the time taken for deployment and upkeep.

Since time is money, appropriate measures should be taken to ensure that proper support for employees and users can be given while not exorbitantly increasing your IT department’s workload. Who will take the time to set up and educate users on the system?

Will the vendor offer prompt customer assistance if there is a problem with the technology?

In some environments, certain authentication methods are not allowed. For example, in hospital settings, contactless authentication may be preferred because it reduces the spread of germs. For companies whose employees are frequently sent to “Internet-free” zones, there are limitations on server-based authentication, requiring an offline mode.

3. How will this platform cater to my future needs?

Within the last few years, we’ve seen the fall of passwords and tokens due to multi-factor biometric authentication technology. Using two weak authentication processes like passwords and tokens only creates a hindrance for IT departments without increasing security.

On the other hand, single-step multi-factor biometric authentication substantially boosts security and convenience by cutting down the time IT department take to reset passwords or reissue lost tokens.

Because of the accelerating growth of techniques in cybercrime, cybersecurity must evolve at the same pace. With the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation in the following weeks, companies and their respective security providers need to have evaluated and redesigned their security systems to comply with the protocols.

Rather than purchasing a platform that eventually becomes outdated in two years time (like tokens), consider a platform from an innovative company that’s able to keep up with the changing pace of cybersecurity.

Learn more about MFA and biometric authentication in our white paper “Multi-Factor Authentication: The Path Forward for Security.”

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