Multifactor Authentication – The Key for Enterprise Cloud Security Assets

admin Cloud Security Expert - CloudCodes Software
  • January 17th, 2019

Multifactor Authentication

With increase in the use of tokens services, biometrics, and mobile applications, multifactor authentication is changing the sign-in procedure of end users. The purpose of the same is to add an extra cloud data security layer in the existing business network protection system.

Besides user ID and password, extra login methods are used to login into online email accounts. For example – a verification code is required to be entered before signing into the mailing profile. This verification code is sent in the form of text message on the registered mobile number. Sometimes few cloud service providers use security questions like What is the name of your first pet, what is your birthplace, etc., to authenticate end users. All these data that are required even after entering correct account passwords are the form of Multifactor Authentication. It’s not something new but, an extra effort to tighten the online account security! It started as the physical technology like USB Dongles and smart cards, which were essentially required to login into PCs or software services after entering the system password or PIN. But, in today’s date, MFA has been evolving this sign in procedure to involve other kind of identifiers like mobile push notifications.

What Is Mobile Push Notifications?

A message, which pops up on the mobile devices is named as a push notification. The publishers of application can send this message at any time – end users don’t have to continuously use app or devices for receiving the same. These mobile push notifications look like normal SMS but, they are only sent to the associated authentic user. Each mobile OS has the support for mobile push notifications i.e., Andriod, iOS, Fire OS, etc.

Cloud security experts find this form of Multifactor authentication ‘the best’ because it comprises of an effective combination of usability and security. The app sends SMS on the phone of an end user notifying that an individual is trying to log in the account or transmit data. In online email tenants, this feature is by default disabled. End users have to activate it on their own to strengthen their account security.

Multifactor Authentication Follows Zero Trust

This method of cloud data security follows the principle of Zero trust model where security holders cannot trust any users accessing the business content until they verify that they are legitimate. Enforcing multifactor authentication in Office 365, Google Cloud Platform, etc., is a great initiative to verify user’s identity who is logging into the account. One can consider the MFA as a core role in any business model of Zero trust maturity because this establishes a trustworthy relationship with people, prior to the data access permission granting. Also, this requires to be linked with a centralized identity plan over all the resources so that the MFA standards could be paired up with access standards. This helps in ensuring right to users for working with correct set of resources at current instance of time.

Does Multifactor Authentication Replaces Passwords?

No, not at all! Cloud-based MFA solution does not replace the password strategy of online account.

Day-by-day people were getting dependent on tenant passwords to secure their cloud profiles. In fact, they were creating weak passwords of the account due to which incidents like account hacking, data exposure took place. A report by Verizon Data Breach 2017 revealed that 81% of data leakages were caused only because of the stealing of passwords. Therefore, to manage these kinds of situations, the origination of multifactor authentication took place. This eliminates all the statistics that make security passwords an issue. Following careless habits of human being leads to cloud computing security risks:

  • Sharing of passwords with relatives or friends
  • Writing down the security text in mobile phones
  • Sharing the passwords through email services
  • Saving a notepad file on PC that has account passwords in it.

The above enlisted are just some common scenarios, which are actually a threat to Cybersecurity. All these scenarios are the reasons due to which the emergence of Multifactor authentication security method took place. Even if password leakage incident occurs, users have verification code in their hand. Without entering this code, hackers will not be able to enter into the targeted account and hence, stop cybercrime from spreading further.

MFA Is More Than Enough for Online Security

Before ending up this post, first of all, we would like to request cloud users that they should create strong passwords of their online tenants. They can make use of multilingual security text to protect their internet profiles, including social media platforms. After this, individuals should begin use of multifactor authentication feature in their tenants. At least in popular cloud service providers application, the MFA option is available for free; only the account holders have to activate it. This will increase up security with one more layer in which even if password gets leaked, the MFA security solution is present to protect customer’s account.