Enhancing Security through Multi-Factor Authentication
Data security is a top priority for all organizations and individuals to prevent third-party cyberattacks. In order to improve account security, multi-factor authentication (MFA) is required. A multi-factor authentication (MFA) system uses two or more different mechanisms to verify a user’s identity, instead of relying on a username and password combination as a verification method. This article explains what multi-factor authentication is, why it is crucial for cybersecurity, and what the different types of MFA factors are.
- The use of multi-factor authentication prevents sensitive data from being accessed by unauthorized individuals.
- There are multiple factors for identity authentication to confirm one’s identity.
- To minimize the risk of personal data being compromised, risk-based authentication requires different verification modes.
A big part of our daily digital lives involves managing a variety of digital services, including multiple IDs and passwords. According to studies, a person with an active digital life has 100 passwords on average. Compared to a year ago, when the threshold rested between 70 and 80, this represents a significant increase. Therefore, people tend to choose easy passwords or to use the same password across all accounts to make it easier for them to remember them. This allows hackers to easily access user accounts without the users’ knowledge. Statistics show that 80% of hacking incidents are caused by stolen and reused login information.
To prevent unauthorized access to applications and sensitive data, Multi-Factor Authentication is used to protect organizations from identity theft, cyber-attacks, and data breaches. According to research done by Microsoft, the use of multi-factor authentication blocks 99.9% of all attacks. To authenticate a person’s identity for security purposes, authentication factors, in the form of information and processes, are used. These can be categorized into the following four different types:
Chart 1: Factors of Multi-Factor Authentication
With MFA, a user must present two or more distinct forms of evidence, for example, something they know and something they possess, to confirm their identity. In other words, even if a hacker gets hold of a user’s username and password, he won’t be able to access the account unless he receives a unique security code sent to the registered mobile device – possession factor – and authenticates himself through face recognition – inherence factor. When looking at the inherence factors, there are multiple biometric technologies that are widely used such as fingerprints and facial recognition, which are categorized as biologically unique to each individual. However, not all mobile devices have built-in fingerprint technology, making facial recognition the most commonly used biometric method for identity authentication on mobile devices.
Next to biometrics, there are several identity authentication methods to prevent breaches, including the following types of multi-factor evidence:
- Usernames and passwords
- Codes sent to a registered email address or mobile number as an SMS message
- Proximity badges, physical tokens, or USB devices
- Software tokens or digital certificates
- Answers to personal security questions
- Fingerprint, voice, facial recognition, or retina scanning
A combination of these evidence types can be implemented together depending on the risk level of each transaction, and the MFA mechanism can be designed by the service provider using risk-based authentication. For high-risk transactions, several authentication methods are required together if the amount is higher than a certain number specified by the service provider (e.g. OTP + Fingerprint + Pattern lock). This is in contrast to traditional approaches, which are unable to adapt to risks.
- Toppan iDGate’s passwordless device-centric authentication solution, iDenKey, offers a more seamless user authentication experience with just a few touches using device binding and risk-based authentication: Device Binding with iDenKey
iDenKey uses device-binding technology to provide a second factor of authentication (2FA/MFA) in addition to traditional passwords. With the help of Toppan iDGate’s 3 + 1 layer protection technology, security keys are efficiently obtained and transmitted to the bank terminal. To achieve optimal security, Toppan iDGate utilizes encryption and asymmetric encryption technologies with dynamic authentication layers, in addition to combining multi-factor authentication systems with passwords. These multiple protection measures prevent data leakage, enhance soft token security, and provide greater security than the traditional username and password method.
- Risk Based Authentication
Banks provide a wide range of services with varying levels of risk. In order to match the bank’s risk level, Toppan iDGate offers a risk-based identity verification solution, which requires users to perform different verification modes according to the risks of service defined by the bank. In addition to being secure and reliable, Toppan iDGate’s solution offers flexible system design, resulting in the elimination of repeated system modification costs. Moreover, the solution complies with all bank policies and requirements while adjusting the identity verification model depending on the calculated risk level. As a result, Toppan iDGate’s flexible management systems can adapt to any circumstance and provide users with a smooth authentication and secure experience.
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About Toppan Gravity
As a global solutions provider primarily focused on the Payment and Identity industries, Toppan Gravity aims at developing the next generation of virtual and physical security documents.
With the vision of becoming the forerunner in the secure ID and payment industry, the company focuses on driving synergies within the Toppan Group, through strategic acquisitions. Toppan Gravity empowers promising companies’ having state-of-the-art technology or businesses in emerging markets, including Asia, Africa, and Latin America, to enhance their overall performance. Furthermore, the company enables its acquisitions to take advantage of the opportunities presented by its large, diversified group having numerous resources and extensive know-how.
About Toppan iDGate
Toppan iDGate, acquired by Toppan in 2020, was co-founded by a group of tech entrepreneurs with a vision for improving what they saw as a sore spot in the market for identity verification solutions. In a world where we tend to oppose security to user-friendliness, Toppan iDGate is striving to offer highly secure but also highly convenient authentication solutions, for digital transformation and online banking services. With our combined years of experience developing data security for the finance industry and proven track-record raising successful businesses, the company understands the fine balance between what banks need and what their customers want.