The focus on security is rising as businesses digitally transform, the world of work globally evolves, and collaboration across borders proliferates to drive innovation.
Business employees today are no longer operating on their networks when accessing data or applications. Therefore, there’s a growing concern about data breaches and ransomware — mandating data and privacy compliance regulations to standardize robust security policies.
To that end, enabling Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) has become non-negotiable to increase protection against cyber-attacks, phishing, data breaches, etc.
The ABC of MFA
The digital landscape encourages consumers to use the web and mobile applications to access various services. Businesses, as such, are at a greater liability to store data securely and ensure that cybercriminals don’t exploit user login to gain entry into critical systems.
Regrettably, password or username-based authentication is now unreliable and unwieldy. Such authentication systems make it difficult for users to remember and manage passwords across multiple accounts — precisely why they start repeating them.
Passwords lacking complexity further weaken security and make it easy for malicious elements to acquire data and information using malware, hacking, and phishing. Mobile number frauds, for example, can have devastating effects. Scammers can access bank accounts, social media, emails, and more, causing havoc. As more enterprise users employ mobile and personal devices, the data across enterprise networks needs to be secured.
Therefore, MFA authentication becomes essential as a part of a security strategy since it employs multiple methods to affirm identity and authority. For businesses offering telecom services, including virtual networks of any size, implementing MFA assures data and information security.
Phone-based authentication has become predominant since the rise of smartphones, and as such, global lawmakers are treating MFA more like a necessity. Australia, for example, is looking at making MFA mandatory for telcos. In Australia, number porting now needs mobile companies to verify users and subscribers in several different ways to identify fraud and discourage fraudsters who scam mobile phone users.
Two-factor authentication is one of the most common forms of MFA. While 2-FA is better than simple passwords, telcos now also need to enable hardware and software authentication tokens generated with a mobile app. For this, telecom operators have to ensure that they are employing a platform that allows them to enable MFA easily while giving them proactive insights into any anomaly that could signal a potential breach.
Employing an MFA platform that helps users and future-proofs businesses is emerging as a strategic priority — this explains its soaring market value (at over 10% CAGR).
However, this platform must deliver comprehensive services that enable end-to-end multi-factor authentication. This includes token generation, token delivery, and token authentication.
Deliver a Multi-Layered Protection Framework
The MFA platform has to deliver a multi-layered protection framework that verifies the user and identifies the transaction identities of the user.
It must also employ a zero-trust framework since the security perimeters have now blurred with rising smartphone proliferation. A zero-trust framework enables agility, visibility, and greater control and makes it easier to improve the security stand by helping businesses stay ahead of the threats curve.
Enable Token-Based Authentication
MFA platforms must allow businesses to enable token-based authentication and simplify the authentication process. Token-based authentication sends a request to the server employing a username and a password. The server validates this input based on the values registered in the credential database. Once confirmed, the server responds with a token.
An MFA platform must allow businesses to generate time-based tokens to prevent misuse. Besides, it is essential for the token length and expiry time to be configurable according to the needs of the business.
Allow Multi-Channel Token Delivery
Token delivery has to be reliable, scalable, and secure. The MFA platform thus has to employ a robust token delivery system that uses multiple channels such as SMS, Flash Calls, data Voice, email, Push Notification, and operator verification.
Enabling concurrent delivery of OTPs on two or more channels further increases security and impedes malicious efforts.
Identify Anomalies and Offer Intelligent Insights
MFA platforms have to employ new-age technologies like AI and ML to proactively identify anomalous behavior on the network. These technologies can also be used to identify changes or drifts in customer behavior to make security more proactive.
The platform should also offer clear and detailed, data-backed insights. Identifying the preferred and most cost-effective channel for OTP messages and gaining insights into a delivery percentage, average cost saved, and top 5 error codes of failure on SMS, Voice, Flash Call, and Email become essential to improve security and cost efficiencies.
Moreover, such platforms must ensure that they enhance user experience over the authentication journey. This includes having mechanisms that allow Mobile Out of Coverage messages and information on failed past transactions over the selected channel.
In case of an undelivered OTP or if an OTP input doesn’t happen in time over a specific channel, the platform should have a CTA that tries out other OTP channels, such as Flash Call or Voice dial-in.
In a Nutshell
As an enterprise’s financial and social transactions move online, telcos and many other industries must look at their authentication systems and evaluate if they can navigate the evolving threat landscape.
Operating systems, service providers, and account-based platforms need MFA. As such, experience in navigating the requirements and exceptions becomes essential.
We can help with that. Reach out to us today to explore more.