What is Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)?

Modified on Wed, 14 Jul 2021 at 09:46 PM

Multi-Factor Authentication (also referred to as MFA or 2FA; short for Two-Factor Authentication) is an additional login step to keep your accounts and data where they should be - under your control.

How does MFA work?

MFA requires two (or more) different methods to access your account. If any one of these methods fails to pass muster then access to the account will be denied. Most MFA systems follow a simple mantra to determine what is needed to access your account: something you know (your password) and something you have (an app code, a hardware key or biometrics).

If a system permits enabling MFA, Lineal strongly urge you to enable it. 

What types of MFA can be used?

The most popular form of MFA is to use a code generated by an app on a phone or tablet. Popular examples of these apps are Microsoft Authenticator, Google Authenticator or Twilio Authy. Many password managers can also generate these codes which can work especially well for teams needing access to a shared company account. 

Depending on the provider there may also be support for biometric authentication (fingerprints, face unlock, retinal scan) or a hardware token using the FIDO2 platform. App codes can be delivered by SMS but this is generally seen as a last resort due to the inherent vulnerabilities. 

Great! What next?

If you're interested in enabling MFA for any of your accounts then do raise a ticket or give the Lineal team a call. 

Want to know more? The National Centre for Cyber Security has a thorough explanation of MFA which is well worth a read.

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