Multi-factor Authentication is an important way to help protect you from hackers trying to steal your information. We can often get complacent and look for an easy way around security measures which leaves us open to MFA fatigue attacks.
Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) helps to provide an extra level of security to help protect your data from attempted attacks from hackers. We as people, seem to have this need to simplify or even circumvent tasks to make them more convenient for us, even when that simplification puts us at risk of an attack. MFA Fatigue is very real and something that we should be aware of as users and try and prevent it from happening in both our work lives and our personal lives.
What is Multi-factor Authentication?
Multi-factor authentication is a security process that requires more than one method of authentication from independent categories of credentials to verify the user’s identity for a login or other transaction. In other words, it adds an extra layer of protection beyond just a password. MFA can also be referred to as two-factor authentication (2FA) or three-factor authentication (3FA), depending on how many factors are used. For example, if a password and a hardware token are required, that would be 2FA. If a password, a hardware token, and a biometric identifier are required, that would be 3FA.
What is Multi-factor Authentication Fatigue?
Multi-factor Authentication fatigue is the challenge of managing different methods for logging in to multiple online accounts. It’s a very real problem that can lead to decreased productivity, decreased security, and even decreased customer satisfaction. The risk of MFA fatigue is that it leads people to find ways around MFA, which defeats the purpose of having it in the first place.
For example, they may start writing down their passwords or storing them in unprotected files on their computers or phones. Or they may start sharing their passwords with others so that they don’t have to go through the hassle of resetting them every time they forget them.
There are ways to fix MFA fatigue, but it requires a multifaceted approach. Below are some solutions:
Employee Education and Awareness
The first line of defense against MFA fatigue attacks is education and awareness. Employees need to be aware of the risks associated with poor password management and learn how to spot phishing attacks. They also need to understand the importance of multi-factor authentication, why their company is using it, and the types of multi-factor authentication that their company allows them to use.
This education can be delivered through a variety of methods, including face-to-face training, one-on-one training, webinars, e-learning modules, posters, or even infographics. The key is to make sure the information is presented in an engaging way that will capture employees’ attention, ensure they remember what they’ve learned, and are willing to continue to use it.
Password Management Tools
Another way to combat MFA fatigue is to provide employees with password management tools. We are all required to have multiple unique passwords and it can be difficult to remember them all. These tools can help employees store passwords securely, generate strong passwords, and easily log in to multiple accounts. Some examples of password management tools include LastPass, Dashlane, and 1Password. For more information on how to create strong passwords, check out our blog.
Single Sign-On (SSO) Solutions
Single sign-on (SSO) solutions are another helpful tool for combating MFA fatigue. SSO allows employees to use one set of credentials—usually their corporate login—to access multiple applications. This means employees don’t have to remember different passwords for different systems; they can just log in once with their corporate credentials and then have access to everything they need.
There are many different SSO solutions on the market, but some popular ones include Okta, OneLogin, Ping Identity, Auth0, and M365.
MFA fatigue is a very real problem that can lead to decreased productivity and decreased security if left unaddressed. The good news is that there are steps you can take to combat MFA fatigue before it becomes a problem for your organization. By implementing employee education and awareness programs, providing password management tools, and implementing SSO solutions, you can help reduce the risk of MFA fatigue and keep your organization running smoothly.