Blog 02 May 2024
Strong Authentication Vs Multi-Factor

Strong Authentication vs Multi-Factor Authentication

Author: admin | 02 May 2024

Protecting your digital accounts from hacking & fraud attempts, and account takeover attempts is important. To do so, you need robust security measures. Many online platforms use multi-factor authentication methods to protect user accounts and credentials. Passwords are not enough as they can easily be cracked or hacked, users require multiple layers of security that can effectively safeguard their digital accounts.

Identity Fraud is surging with evolving shapes. AI has digitally weaponized fraudsters with a different type of deepfakes and Identity document forgery & counterfeiting tactics. To tackle this issue, Strong Authentication and Multi-factor authentication enhance the robustness of overall online security.

Let’s explain what is a strong authentication and multi-factor authentication (MFA) and which one should be preferred in different settings.

Key Takeaways:

  • Strong Authentication and Multi-Factor Authentication are two terms used interchangeably.
  • Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is better than Sing-Factor Authentication in terms of preventing identity theft attacks of different types.
  • Facial Biometric verification fortifies the overall multi-factor authentication (MFA).

Strong Authentication & Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) 

Unlike single-factor authentication which was used decades ago, strong authentication is now popular among authentication methods. It is also called 2-factor authentication (2FA). Its advanced and more secure form using multiple authentication layers is called Multi-factor authentication (MFA).

Strong Authentication typically refers to an ideal authentication mechanism that possesses 3 main characteristics in identity features.

The chart shows three important factors of a Strong Authentication proposed by CISA (Cybersecurity Infrastructure & Security Agency)
  • Something you know > It should be a unique piece of information that only the user should have. It can be a password, a PIN, or a security question that needs to be answered on every sign-in attempt.
  • Something you have > This includes hardware like a smartphone, a physical keycard, a smart chip, or a physical token.
  • Something you are > This includes the human identifiers that are unique to you such as biometric features like facial features, fingerprints, Iris, or Retina pattern.

A strong authentication is achieved by combining one or more of these three protective layers in an identity verification process.

Read More: Why Is Biometric Authentication Rapidly Gaining Traction in the Banking Industry?

Strong Authentication vs Multi-Factor Authentication

Often these two terms are used interchangeably. However, there are slight areas of differences in terms of theory and explanation. We will focus on an insightful publication by CISA (Cybersecurity Infrastructure and Security Agency) on implementing strong authentication and how to enhance it.

According to CISA, single-factor authentication and Multi-Factor Authentication are the two important concepts in digital security.

Single Factor Authentication

It is a weak authentication method that uses a single authenticator such as a password or a code. Usually, it can easily be copied or cracked using different tactics such as:

  • Hacking the password through tools
  • Cracking a password
  • Stealing it directly from a person’s diary or last logins

According to CISA, hackers may use the following tactics to steal passwords since it is just digital data.

  • Brute-force attacks
  • Plaintext password storage
  • Phishing Scams
  • Credential dumping
  • Network sniffing
  • Social engineering Fraud
  • Malware attacks

How is Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) Better?

Benefits of Multi-Factor Authentication

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) offers a wide array of benefits over traditional authentication solutions for user identification.

  • It enhances user security by adding multiple layers of security clearances beyond using just a single password or a code.
  • It protects users against credential theft and account takeover fraud.
  • It ensures that your operations in authentication are compliant with the regulations of KYC and AML.
  • Overall user experience improves by using MFA.

Biometric Verification in MFA

The core strength of MFA lies in implementing strong biometric identity verification methods including facial recognition on the top. It is because of the identity solutions that use facial recognition as a means of identification. Facial recognition offers robust security against identity theft vectors due to being unique in terms of facial features and facial identity is considered the future. Also, industry experts are considering shifting from document identity verification to multi-factor facial recognition authentication.  

Read More: 2024 Biometric Verification An Inclusive Guide on Retina Scan Authentication

Here’s how they propose to do so:

  • Implementing MFA on all devices, systems, and organizations.
  • Using Single-Sign-On (SSO) to log in to multiple online platforms.
  • Federated Identities can also supplement MFA in terms of data sharing.

Facia Empowers Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

Facia is an AI-powered Facial Recognition solution that provides multi-factor authentication solutions to businesses. It empowers the Multi-factor authentication by ensuring a liveness verification through facial recognition in under 1 second with a False Acceptance rate of 0%. Recently Facia has been certified by iBeta at Level 2 testing of biometric identity solutions guaranteeing you the best digital security and customer onboarding solutions

Frequently Asked Questions

What does strong authentication required mean?

Strong Authentication Required is a phrase that appears in any system where the authentication method is weak. For example, if there’s an online platform having only password authentication enabled, it is vulnerable to identity theft and account takeover. Intelligent identity protection systems once integrated will prompt users to enable multi-factor authentication by informing them that their authentication is weak.

What is the strong authentication mechanism?

Strong authentication refers to identity-proofing methods that have three main features:

A physical authenticator such as a keycard.

  • A unique code or password.
  • A biometric identity verification factor.
  • Together all these form a strong authentication mechanism which is difficult to bypass.
What is the difference between weak and strong authentication?

A strong authentication will have multiple layers of security and clearances using multi-factor authentication whereas a weak authentication has only one authenticator such as a code or a password that can easily be hacked.

Is 2FA strong authentication?

2FA is considered stronger than single-factor authentication yet it also has loopholes. It uses only 2 factors of authentication that can be sometimes spoofed.

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