Security experts agree; there is a soaring rise in Multi-Factor Authentication (or MFA) vulnerability attacks. In the face of most offices now being forced to work remotely, concerns are growing about its reduced effectiveness in the face of staff absences.
Let's go over how Multi-Factor Authentication protects your data, what vulnerabilities we know of in MFA protocols, and how you can close any security gaps left by MFA to make your security apparatus stronger.
How Multi Factor Authentication Secures User Identities
Multi-Factor Authentication and your credentials are mutually exclusive. If one gets compromised, the other stays secure. Stolen credentials won't be of much use without a user's MFA token.
If a cybercriminal wants to access someone's account protected by WFA, he would need to use the same device that his target uses to generate his MFA tokens. If the device is secure, accessing a WFA-protected account becomes a difficult task.
However, MFA is not a bulletproof solution to data security. Cyberthreats are constantly evolving to find back doors to sensitive data.
Vulnerabilities in Multi Factor Authentication
Even when MFA protects an account, attackers can access it by using phishing scams, social engineering, or by using tools that find and exploit design flaws.
For example, a malicious browser extension could easily intercept a request token granted by third-party sites. The browser extension could then send the token to the attacker, who could use it to access data protected by that MFA protocol.
How to Make Multi Factor Authentication More Secure
Multi-Factor Authentication should only be one piece of your overall security machine. It would help if you used multiple measures to protect your users and their critical data.
IT teams invested in protecting remote workers against MFA's potential security gaps should incorporate an identity and access management (or IAM) tool to add built-in layers of security to patch up any gaps MFA may have left behind.
Another strategy to mitigate any risks of MFA security gaps is a tool called Proof Key Code Exchange (or PKCE). PKCE describes a method that reduces the threat of having authorization codes intercepted. The method involves the client creating a secret and using it when receiving an access token for an exchange of the authorization code. If the code does get intercepted through this method, it will be useless as the token's request needs the initial secret to work.
Don’t Use MFA as a Security Panacea.
Use Multi-Factor Authentication to increase your security level, but don't rely on it entirely for your security needs. Continuously scan for phishing emails and train users to be vital components in a multi-layered defense against cybercriminals.
As cyber threats evolve, so too should your security tools. Add the tools mentioned above into your security arsenal to ensure your users and their data stay safe and secure.