Multi Factor Authentication Benefits

Multi-Factor Authentication Essentials

At its core, multi-factor authentication or MFA requires multiple layers of verification for a user to access software. However, it is distinct from two-step verification, which requires users to input two separate but similar data points, such as a password and a security question, to gain access. Multi Factor authentication requires two or more completely different kinds of data points to gain access, such as a one time code and a password. 

One of the most common forms of MFA is the one time passcode. By providing a six-digit code via SMS, email, or another application, companies can give a one-time extra layer of authentication. The purpose of multi-factor authentication is to improve upon the security offered by passwords. While very common passwords can be easily compromised with a variety of methods by hackers, MFA allows companies to provide an additional layer of security without adding excessive friction for users

History of Multi Factor Authentication

For years, users and companies alike assumed that passwords alone provided adequate security and were reluctant to implement MFA. This began to change in the mid 2000s with the rollout of smartphones. Smartphones made it possible for companies to offer multi factor authentication to their customers conveniently. 

Around the same time, fraudsters and hackers began to conduct widespread security attacks that saw massive data breaches. In the wake of these security troubles, many consumers demanded increased security from companies and institutions. To tackle this challenge, they turned to MFA to provide an additional layer of protection that passwords alone could not meet. 

The evolution of multi factor authentication grew further with widespread adoption of fingerprint scanners and facial recognition software that allowed users to utilize their biometric information to protect their personal information and accounts. Biometrics has allowed many companies to provide a three layer MFA solution that involves passwords, biometric authentication, and one time codes

Benefits of Multi Factor Authentication

Greater Security

While two-factor authentication is helpful in improving security, only two layers of protection are not adequate insurance from many hackers. Each additional layer of security allows businesses to maintain more robust security and makes it more difficult for hackers to access secured information. 

This also allows for more reliable customer verification, whether a user is conducting a routine login or onboarding them for the first time. This will enable companies to only provide access to actual customers without compromising their systems to hackers

They are providing additional layers of security that limit the usefulness of compromised passwords to hackers. Accomplishing this allows companies to prevent the majority of data breaches before they occur

Another common source of data breaches is email phishing. Users can be tricked into inputting their passwords into pages that look very similar to the legitimate page. With multi factor authentication hackers cannot successfully breach an account with phishing as they still do not have access to the extra login credentials. Because of this, MFA can successfully stop the overwhelming majority of phishing and automated bot attacks

User Experience

MFA allows for a very streamlined user experience that is more convenient than passwords. This convenience is critical to providing better security as well. People often become frustrated with remembering a long list of passwords, and this leads to lazy habits that enable hackers to compromise user passwords more easily. 

Additionally, multi factor authentication saves IT departments a ton of time by not having to process constant password resets. This extra time allows IT teams to focus more on preventing fraud and security breaches, allowing companies to increase their security further.  

User Trust

By working to improve security and overall customer experience multi factor authentication enables companies to instill greater user trust in their services. Users know that they have multiple layers of security protecting their login information. Security is a huge concern among consumers, especially with services such as finance, which require essential details such as bank account information. MFA enables companies to provide the best security possible to protect susceptible user information from fraudsters and give users peace of mind. 

Limits of Multi Factor Authentication

While most phishing attacks can be prevented with MFA, it is not foolproof. Hackers have been able to fool users into providing their MFA codes, and users must still be vigilant to prevent these breaches from occurring. SIM swapping is another way hackers bypass multi factor authentication by transferring a user's phone number to a new SIM card and using SMS codes to gain access to a user's account. 

In 2020, Twitter saw a high-profile case of hackers successfully bypassing MFA security as they used social engineering to bypass these security measures. Hackers also utilize deepfake technology to bypass biometric authentication and use malware on users' devices to get past multifactor authentication logins. While MFA brings incredible value when it comes to increased security, companies and users must remain vigilant as hackers are constantly working out new solutions to break into secured systems

Importance of Multi Factor Authentication

As mentioned above, passwords are far from secure, and it becomes even more apparent when you look at the numbers. Hundreds of thousands of password-based logins are hacked into every week. This allows hackers to steal funds, access sensitive information, or change critical documentation. Compromising a single password can also give hackers access to a variety of sources of data, from emails to medical records. Additionally, nearly 80% of data breaches are due to compromised passwords. 

MFA may not be a complete guarantee against hackers successfully acquiring a user's login; it does provide a much higher level of security. This is critical today as the average data breach costs $165, and while this does not seem much, it happens with incredible frequency. In 2022, online fraud cost American users almost $ 9 billion. 

Additionally, cyber scams have risen dramatically in recent years, making it more critical than ever to supplement the security offered by passwords. This is reflected in the fact that a large number of businesses have been victims of cyber attacks. Multi factor authentication is critical to companies preventing cyber attacks as passwords do not have the ability to solve this problem alone

MFA with Under

At Under, we provide the best multi factor authentication to allow companies to authenticate securely throughout onboarding. By partnering with Twilio, users can be verified via SMS and ensure a more robust level of security that mitigates fake account creation. 9 These fake accounts slow down the customer conversion process and expose companies to data breaches and fraud. 

Security and customer experience must be at the forefront of any onboarding process. At Under, we strive to provide the best in underwriting solutions that allow your business to avoid fake account creation and conduct practical risk assessments of potential customers. Whether with MFA or other useful underwriting tools such as PDF mapping, every aspect of our system is geared towards streamlining the process for customers and your underwriting team. 

To ensure that our customers have the best underwriting tools at their disposal, we partner with great companies such as Twilio. Partnerships such as this ensure that Under has every tool your underwriting team could need. With fraud being so prevalent, it is more critical than ever that companies have robust underwriting; multi factor authentication is an essential component of robust underwriting. 

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