IDC Planscape: Deploying Multi-factor Authentication

Multi-factor authentication provides organisations with an effective security control that overcomes the weaknesses of knowledge-based authentication and protects network, application, and data assets in an increasingly sophisticated threat environment. By combining passwords with physical devices and/or biometric measurements, organisations add a layer of strong security and protect themselves against password theft.

Recent advances in multi-factor authentication make this technology more accessible to nontechnical end users and allow widespread deployment throughout the organisation. Using multi-factor authentication may now be as simple as clicking a button on a pop-up window that appears on the smartphone that a user was already carrying. The simplicity of this approach improves security while increasing user satisfaction.

Organisations planning the deployment of multi-factor authentication should consider approaching both users and services in a phased approach that prioritises high-risk users and applications to achieve the greatest benefit as early as possible in the deployment. Communicating frequently with both management and end-users increases the likelihood of a smooth deployment.

This IDC study provides senior technology leaders with a multifaceted approach to multi-factor authentication.

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