Does the customer need a multi-factor authentication solution?

Multi-factor authentication might be the right choice for your customers, depending on their needs. Learn about common multi-factor authentication solutions in this FAQ.

Does the customer need a multi-factor authentication solution?

Passwords are weak. There's no real argument against that statement.

Passwords can be cracked. All it takes is time. Is your customer paranoid? Do they need a more robust authentication solution? Is multi-factor authentication a viable solution for your customer?

Multi-factor authentication products make a lot of sense these days. Common solutions include token and key-based systems, such as random number cards or RSA key tokens. Biometric options also exist that will add authentication based on retinas, fingerprints, voice recognition and facial recognition. All of these solutions have become much easier to use and administer and use a normal username/password combination along with another form of authentication. Users can be assigned a secure card or token, or every client software, that is used to help them log into critical areas based on their job function. Costs are the biggest issues when it comes to multi-factor authentication, but there are a variety of options at varying price points.

About the author:
Russ Rogers is an information security expert and author of Nessus Network Auditing, 2nd Edition. Russ is currently a penetration tester for the federal government.

This was first published in September 2008

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