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Data Breaches at Timehop, Macy's Highlight Need for Multi-Factor Authentication
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RetiredUser
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RetiredUser,
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7/9/2018 | 7:13:05 PM
Improvements in MFA Could Help
Since I don't design solutions, I haven't put too much deep thought into this yet, but over the last year I documented the following statistics and I can see why end users are getting MFA over MFA.  While we are well aware of the need for MFA and similar forms of security, our end users are simply seeing numbers like this and resisting.  Some have the smarts to bypass some MFA (though these days the majority of solutions are too smart to bypass) or simply STOP using some sites as often as they need to or should because of numbers like this.  Call me lazy but even for me, a seasoned techie, this seems like a lot of robot calls answered, lots of texts and browser codes entered.

MFA Contacts over 12 Months

MFA Cell Phone Calls:   2,803

MFA Cell Phone Texts: 1,741

MFA Browser-Delivered Codes: 972

But, let's assume the end user complaints have nothing to do with a company choosing to implement MFA (let's be honest, how many orgs really listen to their end-users anyway). The article notes one reason many companies might be skipping the MFA step in their security plan, which is the need for software on both the server and user endpoints. I was involved in an MFA implementation and it became quite complicated. A software install on the server, followed by embedded web code, and then an end-user desktop install on top of a mobile token app.

Again, not a solutions designer but some improvements in MFA could help get organizations to 100% implementation (despite end-user complaints).

 
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
7/9/2018 | 8:10:20 PM
Culture > MFA
While MFA could certainly have prevented or mitigated the damage from these breaches or breaches like these, in my experience these types of breaches tend to have a more fundamental cause beyond a lack of MFA: a lack of a good security culture that led to exploitable weaknesses to begin with.

Case in point here: securitynow.com/author.asp?section_id=613&doc_id=734774
RetiredUser
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RetiredUser,
User Rank: Ninja
7/10/2018 | 9:09:41 AM
Re: Culture > MFA
I agree but I would also note that even with valid credentials some MFA solutions that require both a mobile token and answering a revolving question from a pool of pre-configuered questions could still stop such intrusions.  Additionally, while still young, risk-based authentication (RBA) on top of that could also help weed out bad actors with valid credentials. 


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