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5 Key Areas Where You Need Multi-Factor Authentication Now

From cloud applications to digital workspaces—and everywhere in between—your organization has more points of access vulnerability than ever. Learn how multi-factor authentication can make access more secure in five key areas, without making it more difficult for legitimate users.

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Once upon a time, there was just one point of access to your organization’s data, applications and other resources. It was a lot easier to secure access then. But there were also fewer opportunities to thrive and grow than there are in today's complex, dynamic access environment. To take advantage of those opportunities, you need multi-factor authentication to increase protection of critical resources at five key points of access.

  1. Cloud Applications

What would you do without Microsoft Office 365 or Salesforce or all the other cloud applications your organization relies on? These indispensable applications tend to rely on username/password combinations to manage access—not the most secure choice when 81 percent of web-based attacks use stolen credentials. Multi-factor authentication increases security and also provides a common vehicle for secure access to multiple cloud applications.

  1. Privileged Accounts

Privileged accounts provide access to an organization’s most critical assets. They’re not only the most desirable accounts for hackers, they’re also often the most vulnerable, because privileged users tend to have the most privilege with the least accountability. Multi-factor authentication can provide the extra assurance you need that someone presenting with privileged credentials really is the privileged user and not an imposter.

  1. Digital Workspaces

Digital workspaces make it easy to access applications whether they’re in the cloud or on-premises, from access points ranging from corporate-issued computers to personal mobile devices. That’s both their greatest strength and their greatest weakness, since so many points of access have to be secured. Multi-factor authentication deployed in concert with a digital workspace adds another level of assurance that those using a digital workspace to log in are who they claim to be.

  1. Virtual Private Networks

Today’s VPN has become an essential point of access for not just employees, but also contractors, vendors, customers, partners, audit teams and others who need to use your organization’s resources to work productively. To provide secure access to them, you need a multi-factor authentication solution that provides the assurance that users requesting VPN access really are who they say they are.

  1. Legacy Applications

Legacy applications that remain vital to an organization’s operations can be notoriously difficult to secure. They don’t usually support standard authentication protocols like SAML or RADIUS that are typically used to add more robust authentication capabilities to them. But if you can’t easily add multi-factor authentication to legacy applications, one alternative is to integrate it at the firewall.

By making multi-factor authentication a fundamental part of your approach to managing access to resources, you address the challenges these five key areas present. And if you use a risk-based approach that steps up authentication only when the risk of fraudulent access is high, you can also avoid inconveniencing users who present little or no risk.

 Learn more about transforming secure access to meet today’s challenges by signing up for the RSA five-webinar series Access Transformation in Action, continuing through July 25 and available on demand after that date.