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9/9/2016
10:05 AM
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Multi-Factor IT Authentication Hampers Progress, Say 47% US Companies

IS Decisions survey finds organizations are looking for alternate to multi-factor verification, which they believe takes up time and slows productivity.

Multi-factor authentication is losing its popularity as protection against hacking and is ignored by nearly half of US organizations as they believe it slows down progress of end users, says a survey by IT security provider IS Decisions. The study found workers in the US lose around 22 minutes per week because of complicated security steps, with 47% of the companies interviewed saying these measures hindered production.

The survey revealed that 28% of companies rejected multi-factor verification because of infrastructure issues and 18% because they felt it took up too much time.

The report advocates use of alternative methods of protection such as context-aware security rules, which make it difficult for attackers to compromise networks despite a valid login. The report also cites the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which recently advised against using SMS as a second factor of authentication because it could be too easily exploited by cybercriminals.

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BrianB28401
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BrianB28401,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/9/2016 | 11:06:11 AM
47% of companies are just hampered
The fact that this survey suggests that multi-factor authentication is a productivity issue and is not the way to go at this time is a bit disturbing.  They point out that the NIST states that SMS messages for multi factor authentication is insecure is true, however the NIST also insists that multifactor is the best way to go currently.  The insecurity is the SMS portion and not the multifactor part.  Don't use SMS. They suggest biometrics or tokens.  The productivity issue with multi-factor authentication is just entities fighting change because as we all know change is scary.  Using the 22 minutes per week wasted point that they brought up and using the same logic will dictate that the coffee or break room is removed.  I would think that at least 22 minutes per week is lost due to coffee refills or bathroom breaks.  I will borrow a line idea from the movie "Office Space".  They are using their "Jump to Conclusions Mat" with this one.
jcavery
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jcavery,
User Rank: Moderator
9/11/2016 | 11:13:08 AM
Re: 47% of companies are just hampered
good points Brian, and if 22 minutes bothers them, imagine how ticked off they will be when they need to reimage or sanitize their entire network. two factor might not be convenient, but it's a good defense for now, and it will improve as time goes on. I don't like using it either, but it works
FranoisA022
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FranoisA022,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/12/2016 | 9:50:23 AM
Re: 47% of companies are just hampered
Hi Brian, 
I agree that multi-factor authentication is a safe option to protect data, and the more layers of security you have, the safer your data is.
However, the aim of this report is to reflect the reality of today's digital workforce. Users are demanding fast access to be effective, and in some industries — for example healthcare — fast access can literally be the difference between life and death.

The report also emphasises the frustrations that IT managers are facing with multi-factor authentication with regard to disruption on existing infrastructure.

IS Decisions's argument, therefore, is that if an alternative to multi-factor authentication exists that doesn't impede end users or frustrate IT managers but ticks all the security boxes, then that alternative is worth investigating. Without these alternatives, it avoids the very real case of organizations failing with MFA and leaving the network protected by ONLY native Windows passwords.

Without these alternatives, it avoids the very real case of organizations failing with MFA and leaving the network protected by ONLY native Windows passwords.
MarkSitkowski
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MarkSitkowski,
User Rank: Moderator
9/28/2017 | 7:32:01 PM
Re: 47% of companies are just hampered
If multi-factor authentication gets in the way, or takes too long, then you're doing it wrong. Our authentication system uses 3-Factor authentication, where the second and third factors are totally user-transparent, which only leaves the user the task of entering a password - obfuscated, of course...
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