Protect your information using MFA and more

Protect your information using MFA and more Cybergate your cyber security partner

Protect your information using MFA and more


Security and Privacy Go Hand-in-Hand: Using Multi-Factor Authentication and Biometrics to Protect Your Information

Today more than ever before, we are exposed to various security issues and threats. Especially when it comes to using the Internet. More data is processed this way, and people need to be wary of exposing too many details.
Lately in a report IBM stated that data breaches are costing organisations millions of dollars and emphasised the importance of giving priority to security and to take security hand in hand with data and user privacy. For this reason, we always suggest using multi-factor authentication and biometrics for the best kind of protection.

So, what are these and how do they operate to protect you and your data? Let’s take a closer look at them and why they are a necessity.

Using Multi-Factor Authentication

Multi-Factor Authentication (or MFA for short) describes the verification of someone’s identity through multiple credentials. It serves as an enhanced kind of security, and this significantly reduces the risks that are associated with passwords. How does it do this? By making use of a second route to take for authentication purposes. You may have heard of two-step authentication, and this is essentially a subset of MFA.

MFA does not need to incorporate any kind of password, but it must use at least two pieces of evidence to prove that you are who you say you are. Authentication factors are divided into three segments, which are:

  • Knowledge: Something that you know, like a password that has been set up or the answer to a secret question;
  • Possession: Something that you possess, like a mobile phone, that can be identified with digital certificates or a text message; and
  • Inherence: Something that you are – biometrics. These include face recognition, voice patterns, retina scanning, and the like.

Being users of the online world, it is likely that we have all heard of people who have had their security compromised. In these circumstances, their personal and private data has been hacked into. This has allowed others to steal their identity, their finances, and (other) sensitive data. So, here are five reasons why you should make biometrics a part of your own MFA.

Password Hygiene

Various pieces of research dictate that the average user has between 70-80 accounts online, and these all require passwords. It was also found that around 21% of users forget their passwords after two weeks, and 25% forget one of those passwords at least once per day. This leads to the same password being used across the board, and the damage from this is extreme. With biometrics, a password is not necessary because your fingerprint or retina or face is scanned to confirm who you are.

Less of a Negative User Experience

MFA tends to add extra time and effort for logging in to your chosen sites. That can be quite a frustrating process if you have to log in to multiple sites per day. With something like face recognition, the process can be smoothed out. Even voice biometrics make things much simpler with little effort required to set up and subsequently use.

Decrease Account Takeovers

Biometrics provide a much stronger level of security than something as standard as a password. Hackers are very much skilled at being able to utilise personal details found online (on the dark web) to reset passwords, hack into accounts, and brute force to guess one’s credentials, whereas biometrics have no such route around them. Biometrics are fantastic when it comes to tackling fraudsters because they’re completely tied to the user. Even if you get locked out of an account, the biometric is a reliable factor so that you can re-authenticate yourself.

Detection of Additional Fraud

When fraud is done successfully, it can go unnoticed for extended periods. Days or weeks may pass by before someone notices there is an issue. And even though some scammers may use recorded or synthesised voices for biometrics, or video replays, for example, a technology known as liveness detection adds extra protection against such. This catches fraudsters when they are attempting their hacks, thereby resulting in a higher level of fraud being detected.

A Combination of Biometrics

If you want to increase the strength of your security, then combining biometrics is a possibility. Using both voice recognition and facial recognition or retina scanning for example will bolster the security level significantly. While a single biometric option is good, two of them will always be better.

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    Francesco Mifsud
    [email protected]

    I live and breathe cyber security and everything else in the discipline. With around a decade of experience in the industry I have had the opportunity to develop skills in penetration testing, cloud security, reverse engineering & exploit development, application security engineering, management and organisation-wide cyber security strategy. I hold a well-rounded set of security certifications such as OSCP, eWPTX and CISSP and have delivered training & workshops at some of the most prestigious hacking conferences such as DEF CON, BRU CON, BSides London and BSides Manchester.