Multi-Factor Authentication: A Look at Some of the Industry’s Best

October 17, 2016 | Comment

Multifactor authentication (MFA) can become a crucial investment for any organization. With the right MFA solution, it can be a critical component of your company’s security strategy. Here are some of the top multi-factor authentication solutions available in the market:

  1. RSA Authentication Manager

RSA Authentication Manager is the platform behind the RSA SecureID, which allows for a more centralized identity and access management (IAM). The system can provide a streamlined management solution for SecureID implementation through a browser-based admin console. The product also supports a wide range of authentication methods, which includes hardware and software tokens, risk-based MFA, as well as on-demand Short Message Service (SMS) authentication.

The scalability of RSA Authentication Manager is quite remarkable, which may explain why the product has been around for a long time. The product can deliver a high availability replication infrastructure that supports up to 15 replica devices or appliances. With this product, you can develop your RSA SecureID environment alongside your growing enterprise.

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  1. CA Strong Authentication by CA Technologies

CA Strong Authentication is among the most versatile multifactor authentication solutions in the industry. It can help implement and manage a variety of authentication protocols, from pass codes and knowledge-based authentication (KBA) to a two-factor authentication method with hardware credentials or software tokens.

Other authentication methods the system can provide include out-of-band authentication like Short Message Service (SMS) authentication and voice or email delivery of one-time passwords (OTP). CA Strong Authentication is available for Windows systems and as a Software as a Service (SaaS) version, which is called CA Secure Cloud.

  1. Symantec Validation and ID Protection (VIP) Service

Symantec VIP is another top-tier multi-factor authentication solution that has been in the industry for a long time. The system supports a wide variety of software and hardware tokens, including a number of desktop and mobile phone applications, utilizing both SMS and voice call services. Some of its many features include reliable and scalable cloud-based infrastructure, transparent risk-based token-less authentication, and free desktop and mobile device credentials, among others.

The Symantec Validation and ID Protection service also provides over 30 different integration methods for a wide range of apps. The popularity of the VIP service has resulted in more than 100 different websites using its credentials for authentication.

  1. Vasco IDENTIKEY Authentication Server

Developed by Vasco Data Security Inc, the IDENTIKEY Authentication Server is a comprehensive authentication software suite designed for enterprises of all shapes and sizes. Organizations that want to address their secure access concerns or bolster their already existing security infrastructure can rely on this state-of-the-art MFA solution.

As a comprehensive, centralized, and flexible authentication platform, IDENTIKEY Authentication Server (IAS) is developed to deliver a complete authentication management service from a single, integrated system. Some of its features include comprehensive secure access, complete authentication support, centralized installation and management, and scalable architecture, among many others.

  1. Dell Defender

Although a mid-tier authentication product, Dell Defender is an MFA solution that combines ease-of-use and efficiency to provide adequate gatekeeping security. With a good assortment of features and support for basic multifactor authentication, its price is pretty decent. It’s definitely a solid investment for smaller enterprises and organizations on a tight budget.

Dell Defender improves your security by implementing a two-factor authentication method to allow users to gain access to servers and other network resources. The product works in conjunction with Microsoft Active Directory by accessing the identity stored in it to enable the two-factor authentication process. Dell Defender eliminates the time and cost of setting up and maintaining databases by taking advantage of the scalability and security that’s already inherent with Microsoft Active Directory.

These are just five of the most popular multifactor authentication solutions available in the market. Of course, there are quite a lot more to choose from if you’re looking for the perfect fit for your enterprise. But how do you choose the right MFA solution for your organization? How do you know when it’s the right fit? Here are a few essential tips for choosing the right multifactor authentication solution:

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Five Important Tips to Consider When Choosing a Multi-Factor Authentication Solution

When choosing a good MFA solution, there are several factors you need to consider and some questions you need to answer.

  1. Does the solution provide support for flexible, risk-based setup authentication? A risk-based MFA solution provides flexibility and allows you to implement only the necessary amount of security based on the associated risks. This will provide an optimal and less obtrusive user experience, which can result in a smooth implementation process.

  1. Does the product allow you to extend with passive contextual authentication? The future of multifactor authentication involves using passive, contextual user information like geolocation, IP address, time of day, and various device identifiers. This type of authentication method provides better security and user experience.

  1. Is the product user-friendly? Ease-of-use is always going to be a significant factor when it comes to choosing MFA products and other technologies. There’s no way you can implement a new complex system and expect your users to accept it with open arms. If you want users to completely accept and appreciate the authentication method, then realize that positive user experience is crucial.

  1. Does the product provide options to mitigate the risk of opt-outs? Having a choice of authentication methods such as email, SMS, or voice communication can make a huge difference between acceptance among users and abandonment. You need to anticipate the few objections you will be facing during deployment, and choose a product that allows you to mitigate those complaints.

5. How easy is it to implement and for your employees to use? Implementing a new technology into an already existing system is not always easy. And you can’t expect your employees to just go along with a less than optimal user experience. You need to find a product that is easy to implement and integrate into your system.