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3 Keys to Easier Multi-Factor Authentication for Everyone

When you make multifactor authentication easier for both users and administrators, you make life harder for cyber attackers. Here’s how to do it.

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Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a great tool for keeping cyber attackers out of your data. But using it successfully can be a balancing act between making it hard for attackers to get in and making MFA easy for users and admins to use. Look for a solution that offers these three key attributes to easier MFA for the people inside your organization. 

1.       Easy to Deploy

When it comes to deploying MFA into an existing identity environment, there’s a hard way and there’s an easy way. Make it easy on your deployment team by finding a solution that includes flexible deployment options (on-premises or as a service) as well as rich API support. This helps ensure seamless integration of MFA into the existing SSO experience. It also helps if the MFA solution offers an easy migration path to MFA from your current solution. That way, you end up with just one solution for accessing both on-premises and cloud applications from multiple mobile platforms.

2.       Easy to Use

It’s great that you’ve decided to go beyond passwords and even two-factor authentication to make your environment more secure. But the last thing you want is to slow down or frustrate users with stepped-up authentication that makes access excessively complex. Look for a solution that uses a risk-based approach to verify that users are who they say they are; i.e., one that can automatically evaluate the access risk and request additional authentication only if the risk warrants it. After all, do you really need to trouble someone who’s just signing in the same way as every day, on the same device as always, for additional evidence of identity? Probably not. But you do want to be able to ask for further assurance of identity if someone is trying to sign in from an unfamiliar location using a new device. And you can make it easier for them by giving them a variety of authentication choices such as push notifications, biometrics, SMS and more.

3.       Easy to Manage

Three little words every admin loves to hear: do-it-yourself. Look for a solution for MFA that allows for secure self-enrollment and other self-service options for users. That way, when you provide options for multiple authentication methods, you don’t have to worry about creating more of an administrative burden in the process. Other capabilities that help make MFA solutions easy to manage include out-of-the-box access-policy configuration options for a variety of applications and a centralized view into access across on-premises and cloud environments.

The takeaway: By all means, do embrace MFA in your quest for a more secure access environment. But don’t make it harder than it has to be for the people who are going to have to deploy, use and manage your MFA solution. Learn more about how RSA SecurID Access can help keep you on track to achieve access that’s both secure and convenient in this infographic.