Buyer's Handbook: Multifactor authentication methods, use cases and products Article 1 of 6

Multifactor authentication methods in your organization

Cyberattacks can lead to more than a million in losses for small to medium-sized businesses, and can exceed several million dollars for larger corporations. In most cases, hackers send malware via email phishing scams. Employees click on seemingly legitimate emails, enter their passwords and unwittingly give hackers access to confidential company information, resulting in not only financial loss, but also loss of client trust and business.

Multifactor authentication (MFA) security measures are a proven way to mitigate this threat. Multifactor authentication methods pair a standard username and password login with something in the user’s possession to ultimately prove the users are who they claim to be.

MFA typically comes in three forms: knowledge-based, possession-based and biometric. An example of knowledge-based MFA is a security question, like "what’s your mother’s maiden name?" A key fob or a unique code sent to a user’s smartphone are possession-based examples, and a fingerprint is a biometric one.

This buyer's guide discusses how MFA technology has evolved over the years, moving from key fobs to biometrics. We also cover how to identify whether to use the technology and explore the costs and security risks associated with implementing MFA. Finally, we dive into the MFA market and explore some of the top vendors and products.