Interest in multi-factor authentication (MFA) has risen in the past few years, spurred by the increasing frequency and severity of data breaches and destructive attacks. When Covid-19 happened, ransomware actors proliferated. Recently, MFA has received a boost from various supporters, including Google, the US federal government, GitHub and Microsoft. When evaluating the various MFA products and technologies on the market today, it’s important to understand the tradeoffs in security, scalability and usability inherent in each option. Additionally, it can be helpful to understand your available choices in the context of how MFA has developed over time.
In this ebook I co-authored with Evan Krueger, the engineering manager of Token, we track the evolution of MFA, the work of the FIDO Alliance to bring the industry together and provide new authentication standards, and some suggestions on how to choose the right MFA technology that you carry with you, that understands your biometrics, and can be married to your identity without any operator intervention. Ransomware and data theft are only increasing in severity. It’s time for the defenders to up their game as well.