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MFA: Enhancing Digital Workspace Security Without Sacrificing Convenience

Digital workspaces need secure access to keep sensitive resources safe. But if security is making access less convenient, you’re defeating the whole purpose of digital workspaces. Here’s how to have it both ways.

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As digital transformation leads more organizations to discover the value of digital workspaces for today’s work-anywhere workforce, the question of how to keep them secure inevitably comes up. After all, most digital workspaces rely primarily on a username/password combination for access credentials—and that can pose a real risk when 81% of hacking-related data breaches today are password-related. If you want to make sure your digital workspace is as secure as it is convenient, consider multi-factor authentication (MFA).

Choose Multi-Factor Authentication for the Identity Assurance You Need

Multi-factor authentication gives users multiple ways to prove they’re entitled to access to resources in the digital workspace. Biometrics, push notifications, one-time passcodes, hardware and software tokens—having all of these available helps ensure all users in your organization can authenticate - no matter where they are or what the circumstances. For example, a one-time passcode may be perfect for a mobile user, but won’t be of much help to a user who works in a call center where mobile devices aren’t allowed.

Choose a Solution That’s There When You Need It—but Not When You Don’t

Look for a multi-factor authentication solution that’s risk-based, which means it will only ask for additional authentication when the level of risk warrants it. This type of solution uses risk and behavioral analytics to gauge the risk of an access attempt, based on your own security policies and the context surrounding the attempt. For example, is the user logging in from a known and trusted device? Is the IP address within normal behavior patterns? If not, a risk-based solution can ask for further authentication of identity. If the solution also has machine-learning capabilities, this type of information will become part of its base of knowledge, reducing the need to ask for additional authentication unless something out of the ordinary happens to warrant it.

Choose a Single Solution for Multiple Points of Access

A digital workspace may be an important element in any digital transformation, but chances are it’s not going to be the only point of access to the resources users need. Your organization probably still relies on a VPN that’s not part of the digital workspace. Or you may have on-premises applications that can’t be accessed through a digital workspace. If maintaining operational efficiency and managing security costs are important to you, the last thing you need is to invest in multiple point solutions that all have to be maintained separately. Instead, look for a multi-factor authentication solution that can be applied beyond the digital workspace.

Digital workspaces make it possible to quickly deliver any app on any device, easily manage more apps and devices and help people work more productively. But they can also introduce risk. Adding multi-factor authentication minimizes that risk without sacrificing convenience. Learn more about using multi-factor authentication to transform secure access for 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.

Copyright © 2018 IDG Communications, Inc.