One of the most consistent weaknesses in a digital defense is the users of the system, no question. Like a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, each user represents the weakest point where mistakes can be made and access is given away unintentionally.
However, multi-factor authentication (MFA) has now made it possible to button up the same notorious weak point in IT protection. And with tools available from cloud security providers like Tools4Ever and similar, MFA defenses can be applied effectively, easily, and consistently across all users on a network, largely mitigating the human factor in security issues.
How MFA Works So Well
A key element in multi-factor authenitcation tools that goes well beyond the traditional identification and password model is the fact that MFA uses a random generator. Unless a perpetrator has access to the same account, mobile device, and email address as the victim, he or she won’t be able to know the random number or code generated at the moment for the necessary second password.
And even if one used brute software to break the password, it would do no good without the right random number generated at the same time. The odds of catching the right number and the password combination at the same time are mathematically incredibly low.
Even a brute force attack on the password would still require an astronomical stroke of luck to be able to produce the correct 2nd password in the small time frame before it changes, assuming it’s a rotating number or code.
Additionally, MFA tools fill the gap where human carelessness or lack of awareness fails. Even with everyone using a password and ID, people still leave their access credentials where others can find or see them.
With MFA, however, it will do no good without the random factor tool as well. So, the weakness of human mistakes is diminished as well. Keep in mind that access to the source of those two factor authentication apps can be had with the loss of a cell phone or similar, so human mistake cannot be completely nullified.
Performance Speaks for Itself
With MFA installed across a network, companies and agencies have seen penetration attempts and losses of data and assets drop tremendously. Just about every network connected to the Internet and of size is being probed and scanned for vulnerabilities.
But with MFA, the chances of getting in have dropped so much, most perpetrators quickly move on to easier targets. It’s that effective as a defense, even if not perfect. In fact, it continues to be people that allow MFA defenses to be compromised.
There is no question that there are other defensive tools available. Everything from proactive defensive cloud firewalls to the newest forays into artificial intelligence prevention. However, they simply don’t have the success rate that MFA defense tools have proven in practice.
The effectiveness of the password combined with a random code generator continues to block more penetration attempts than most other options. That is not to say that it can’t be stronger when paired with another solution, but if you were looking for just one thing that can massively reduce risk, a multi-factor authentication scheme should be high on the list, if not at the very top.
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