The Importance of Multi-Factor Authentication

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Auraya Blog

The Importance of Multi-Factor Authentication

Angelo Gajo | April 17, 2019 | 4 minutes

man on phone and laptop

Multi-factor authentication is a method that improves security for users of technology. Users who choose to use multi-factor authentication gain access to systems after they successfully pass at least two authentications. These authentication requests can either be something the user knows of (e.g. password or PIN), something the user has (e.g. USB security key or mobile phone) or something the user is (e.g. fingerprint or voiceprint).

Multi-factor authentication is an effective method that organisations can implement to prevent fraudsters from accessing devices or networks containing confidential information. With multi-layer security, multi-factor authentication can reduce the incidence of information or identities being stolen. Australian Cyber Security Centre considers it as one of the essential eight on mitigating cybersecurity incidents.

However, one major issue multi-factor authentication must address is convenience and usability. Google software engineer, Grzegorz Milka, announced during his segment at the Usenix’s Enigma 2018 that 12-43% of users reuse their passwords for different platforms. Further, less than 10% of active Google accounts have multi-factor authentication active. With high password recycle rates and a higher percentage of non-multi-factor authenticators, Google accounts security is at high risk for most users. How do these alarming numbers happen? Well, Milka states that multi-factor authentication is perceived as “unnecessary hassle to set up”. That is, there exists a barrier to adoption by users.

To combat this, companies today are implementing multi-factor authenticators via biometrics such as fingerprint, iris and voice. Well-known biometric authenticators that are being used globally are Apple’s Touch ID and Microsoft’s Windows Hello, with more than 37 million users already using Windows Hello. Another biometric authenticator gaining traction is our unique voice. Here at Auraya, we offer organisations the option of using ArmorVox™, the world leading voice biometric engine, to enable a person to simply say the one-time number string that is displayed on their device. This easy to use and easy to implement voice biometric solution provides a critical ‘step up’ to security and a unique digital signature that confirms transactions. Voice biometrics allows organisations to provide multi-factor authentication across all channels in a way that users will adopt because it is easy to use, consistent and secure.  Voice can be used on any device that has a microphone so users can easily provide a second-factor authentication when on a computer or a tablet using WeChat, talking to a bot or even a contact centre agent.

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