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Top 8 MFA Challenges In 2023 and How To Address Them

MFA (multi-factor authentication) can help businesses restrict unauthorised access to organisational resources, however, implementing such solutions without adequate knowledge can lead to MFA challenges that may incur monetary expenses.

Organisational data is paramount to businesses, and preventing unauthorised access is a top priority. Businesses are investing heavily in Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) solutions to restrict unauthorised access. However, most businesses do experience challenges when trying to implement MFA in their organisation such as user adoption, lack of trust, and more. 

Recent forecasts show that the global MFA market could reach $26.7 billion by 2027. Gaining an in-depth understanding of MFA challenges is important before investing in such solutions. Reach out to our experts for any assistance you may need in implementing modern workplace solutions like MFA.

What Is MFA? 

MFA is a network security protocol that uses multiple ways of verifying a user’s identity. It then grants them access to organisational data and resources like Microsoft Editor. This security protocol helps businesses limit and restrict unauthorised access.

Having such an ability then helps them reduce exposure to cyber threats. It also improves their security posture. MFA protocols are based on three factors which include:

1. Knowledge Factors

This component uses various factors such as password and answer to personal questions. They are used to verify a user’s identity.

2. Possession Factors

This component uses one-time passwords (OTPs) to verify a user’s identity. These OTPs can be sent via e-mail or text or in the form of smart cards or software tokens. 

3. Inherence Factors

This component uses biometrics or facial recognition to verify a user’s identity. After that, it provides them with access to organisational resources.

Prior to implementing an MFA solution, businesses must understand the difference between an MFA and a two-factor authentication (2FA) solution. 

MFA vs. 2FA 

As mentioned, an MFA solution uses multiple methods for verifying a user’s identity. A 2FA, on the other hand, only uses two authentication protocols. 2FA authentication protocols can be voice or text-based. In addition, these authentication protocols may also include push notifications and hardware tokens. 

Most Common MFA Challenges Businesses Could Face In 2023 

Businesses may experience MFA challenges while implementing the security solution to organisational applications like the Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD). The exact challenges may vary from one business to another. Some of the most common MFA challenges in 2023 include: 

User Adoption 

User adoption is the most common challenge a business might face. Some employees may be reluctant to change. In addition, some employees may find MFA solutions too complicated. Therefore less likely to adopt their usage.

Lack Of Trust 

MFA solutions require access to personal information like phone numbers and fingerprints. This information is used for identity verification. Some employees may be reluctant in providing sensitive information and not trust the organisation. They are less likely to comply with MFA requirements due to privacy concerns. 

Time and Cost 

Implementing MFA solutions can be a lengthy process at first. It may require constant changes to meet business requirements. To ensure effective functioning, businesses may need to invest resources like time and money, which they may not have in abundance. 

Technical Complexity 

This is a challenge for businesses that are not tech-savvy. MFA implementation may require expertise in network security and identity and access management (IAM). Therefore, such businesses consider hiring or consulting with experts. 

Legacy Application or Systems 

Implementing MFA solutions on legacy application systems can be challenging. These solutions may not support modern authentication methods. In some cases, a system overhaul or code rewrite may be required to ensure MFA implementation. 

Simultaneous Deployment

Deploying MFA on all of an organisation’s applications and resources is the end goal. However, deploying MFA protocols on all resources at the same time can be challenging because network teams lack familiarity and expertise. 

SMS Authentication 

Text messages are the go-to option for authentication and verification. However, using this protocol can be challenging during implementation. It is vulnerable to cyberattacks. It can also make the entire network exploitable. This may lead to data breaches.

Organisational Needs 

Some businesses might be unaware of their security requirements. During implementation, they may realise that their use of MFA is far more than they anticipated. Addressing such requirements during implementation can be challenging. It may incur additional expenses.

How Can Businesses Address MFA Challenges

Learning how to address MFA challenges is critical to the effective implementation and usage of MFA solutions. Businesses must ensure that they thoroughly understand MFA and their requirements prior to choosing and implementing a solution. Some ways to address these challenges include:

  1. Educating users – businesses must educate their employees about MFA to build familiarity and trust. 
  2. Planning needs – an organisation must analyse the network infrastructure and determine which assets need MFA security. 
  3. Reviewing MFA solutions – businesses should examine MFA solutions to ensure alignment between the solution’s capabilities and business objectives.
  4. Identifying high-priority assets – network teams must determine which organisational assets are the most important and prioritise MFA deployment accordingly. 
  5. Using conditional access – businesses can pair MFA solutions with Azure Active Directory (AD) to deploy condition-based access policies across organisational resources. 
  6. Monitoring performance – once deployed, businesses must monitor the performance of their MFA solution to determine changes that need to be made. 

Final Thoughts 

MFA solutions are essential for businesses as they help them control and restrict access to organisational resources. Businesses implementing such solutions without adequate knowledge can experience challenges like user adoption and technical complexity. Contact us now and learn how we can help you implement MFA solutions for your business. 

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