In part one of our two-part blog series on multi-factor authentication, we talked about why MFA is a flawed tool – and why businesses should use another way to securely and privately access and share data. We explored how multi-factor authentication can place personal information at risk and can be difficult for employees to use. Now we’re taking a look at the financial burden MFA can cause and how you can implement a cost-efficient alternative that can contribute major value to your organization. That value is two-pronged. First, it saves your organization money because it doesn’t require bulky hardware, training or maintenance. Second, it seamlessly integrates into people’s workdays, removing the extra-steps associated with MFA that employees have to take to authenticate their identity and allowing them to quickly and safely access and share sensitive information.
Technology That Protects Your Data Shouldn’t Be Expensive
Let’s talk about the costs that can come with MFA. There are the costs associated with hardware needs – for example if you decide to use tokens for MFA – and any professional services to reduce the burden on your internal IT professionals. There’s also the cost associated with vendor training users on how to use tools during deployment and then after deployment any costs associated with maintenance or patches or upgrades.
MFA Makes it Hard to Get Work Done
Analyst Aaron Walker makes an important point about the value of cybersecurity solutions. Value isn’t just about dollars saved or deals closed, he writes, it’s about disaster avoidance and sense of trust or employees, partners, and customers.
MFA is supposed to help organizations avoid disaster. When users are asked to authenticate their identity, this is to protect sensitive data. But here’s the thing – MFA adoption is pretty low –one recent study found that only about one in four remote workers actually use it to access business information. It can be a pain to use, which means people will try to find work arounds. Here’s an example: an employee is in a rush and needs to get a sensitive document to a client. He doesn’t feel like he has the time to authenticate his identity to share the information so once – just this once – he emails the document to the client. No harm done, he thinks. But later, that sensitive information is compromised, and the company is forced to handle a series of costs – including fines associated with compliance and loss of business from customers who no longer trust the company.
There is a Solution to the Cost Problem
Contrast all that with an app that only needs to verify your identity once and poof – your data is protected. There are no hardware costs involved because all your employees need is their phone, no installation costs because they’re downloading the app to their devices, little to no training because the app looks and feels like apps they already use on a daily basis and any updates or patches go directly to your device – saving you any hidden costs associated with maintenance. You’re saving a ton of money that would have otherwise gone into all the costs described for MFA.
That app actually does help organizations avoid disaster and build trust in employers, partners and customers. That’s because it’s simple to use and fits seamlessly into employees’ workflows. Think about the situation described above, where a harried employee needs to share a sensitive document – but this time he has access to that app. He’s in a rush but that’s no problem, he just pulls out his device and quickly sends off the document to the client. There are no hoops to jump through and no danger of placing data at risk or violating regulations.
The upshot? Although it’s meant to protect data, multi-factor authentication is a flawed tool, which raises security and cost concerns for organizations, users and customers. We think it’s time to think outside of MFA and imagine another way to authenticate identities and protect your data. Vaporstream makes it easy to access and share information without having to authenticate yourself over and over – all while protecting your data from breaches or compliance violations. The mobile messaging solution work seamlessly with devices and mimics the look and feel of most messaging apps – making it easy to use and requiring no extra hardware. Find out more about us through the resources below.