Multifactor Authentication

Authentication can be accomplished with one factor, two factors, or multiple factors. Which one is the weakest level of authentication and which is the most secure and why? When would a more secure system be required? Be able to explain these multifactor authentication methods: password protection, token presence, voice biometrics, facial recognition, ocular-based methodology, hand geometry, vein recognition, fingerprint scanner, thermal image recognition, and geographical location. What are some challenges of multiple factor authentication when using biometrics? There is a lot of interesting information covered in this article that you do not need to memorize, but that you should be aware of.

3. MFA Operation Challenges

3.2. Integration

Even if all the usability challenges are resolved during the development phase, integration brings further problems from both technological and human perspectives.

Most of the consumer MFA solutions remain hardware-based. Generally, "integrating physical and IT security can reap considerable benefits for an organization, including enhanced efficiency and compliance plus improved security". However, convergence is not so simple. Related challenges include bringing the physical and the IT security teams together, combining heterogeneous system components, and upgrading the physical access systems.

While developing the MFA system, biometrics independence should be considered carefully, i.e., assurance of interoperability criteria should be met. The framework needs to have functionality to handle the biometric data from sensors other than the initially deployed ones. The utilization of multi-biometrics, that is, simultaneous usage of more than one factor should also be taken into account.

Another major interoperability concern is vendor dependency. Enterprise solutions are commonly developed as stand-alone isolated systems that offer an extremely low level of flexibility. Integration of newly introduced to the market sensors would require complicated and costly updates, which most probably will not be considered soon.

Further, it should be noted that most of the currently available MFA solutions are not fully/partially open source. This introduces the questions of trustworthiness and reliability to the third party service providers. The available level of transparency delivered by both hardware and software vendors should be taken into consideration while selecting the MFA framework in the first place.