Malicious actors are circumventing today's multi-factor authentication (MFA) methods. While helpful, two-factor authentication (2FA) using one time codes, security questions, and authenticator apps have limitations and are subject to compromise.
Any MFA is indeed better than no MFA. However, traditional MFA solutions are only as strong as their weakest link. Many authentication processes regress to a single factor when the second factor is lost.
Therefore, the need for a more robust multi-factor authentication solution is more significant than ever. And the solution to this vulnerability is adding a biometric factor to the authentication process. But before we dive into the benefits of using face biometrics for multi-factor authentication, let's cover some basics of MFA.
What is Multi-factor Authentication ?
Multi-factor authentication, also known as MFA, is the verification of a user's identity with multiple credentials for enhanced security. By using more than one credential, MFA offers greater protection against the risks associated with password-based login. Two-factor authentication, or two-step authentication, which many users are familiar with, is a specific type of MFA that involves using two separate factors to verify a user's identity.
Typically, MFA involves a combination of two or more of the following authentication factors:
- Something the user knows, (knowledge-based authentication such as a password or a PIN)
- Something the user has, (possession-based authentication such as a security token or a user's mobile device)
- Something the user is, (inherence-based authentication such as Trust Stamp's biometric multi-factor authentication)
By requiring multiple forms of identification, MFA increases the difficulty for an attacker to authenticate successfully, as they would need to know the user's password, possess their security token, and be able to mimic their biometric features.
Why Multi-factor Authentication is ImportantAs digital services become more popular, organizations must provide a seamless user experience while remaining vigilant against growing cyber threats. Account takeover fraud (ATO), often financially motivated and relies on techniques such as credential stuffing, is a significant problem. Additionally, remote interactions over unsecured networks and untrusted hardware make establishing trust between the physical person and their digital identity challenging.
Multi-factor authentication offers a solution to establish trust online and limit fraud through stronger authentication without inconveniencing the user. However, many organizations struggle to implement it effectively.
What are the Challenges with Multi-factor Authentication?
Using two authentication factors, mainly when one is a password, can protect against account takeovers (ATO). MFA can also help maintain account security even when one factor is compromised. However, despite these benefits, MFA can introduce user experience issues by increasing login friction due to extra steps and vulnerability to cyberattacks.
A survey shows that 63% of consumers are more likely to shop on a website that offers MFA, but only if it does not negatively impact the user experience. In 2022, 69.99% of consumers abandoned online shopping carts due to security concerns.
While keeping customers' data safe is essential, the added friction of the MFA solution can make the process more cumbersome for users, potentially leading to decreased adoption.
This highlights the importance for organizations to balance security and user experience when implementing a multi-factor authentication solution. The best way to do this is to implement face biometrics for multi-factor authentication, where Trust Stamp's biometric MFA solution comes in.
3 Reasons to Choose Face Biometrics for Multi-factor Authentication
- Reduce friction in the user experience: face recognition eliminates the need for third-party authenticator apps and the fragmented experience of switching between platforms to access codes in text or email. With a simple selfie, face biometric authentication makes the authentication process more seamless, less disruptive, and a passwordless user experience.
- Comply with Strong Customer Authentication requirements, even for authentication resets: Trust Stamp's Biometric MFA adds a low-friction and a secure second, and third authentication factor (something you have and something you are) into applications or user flows.
- Detect more fraud, such as bots and other spoof attacks: with facial liveness detection, biometric authentication defends against the most sophisticated biometric spoofing attacks and other fraud techniques in real-time.
Why Is Liveness Detection Needed for Biometric Multi-factor Authentication?
Liveness detection is a critical component of biometric authentication because it helps to ensure that the face biometric data being used belongs to a live person (physically present) and not a pre-recorded image or video.
Liveness detection uses various techniques, such as analyzing facial expressions, head movements, and blinking, to confirm that the biometric data belongs to a live person. These techniques can detect subtle differences between a live person, a photograph, a video, or other presentation attacks, making it much more difficult for attackers to bypass the Biometric MFA system.
Why Trust Stamp's Biometric Multi-factor Authentication?
Trust Stamp's Biometric MFA creates a token based on a user's facial biometric. This simple step replaces and/or supplements one-time passcodes, challenge questions, and authenticator apps. Biometric multi-factor authentication accomplishes two things:
- Ensuring the user is the right person.
- Ensuring that a user is a live person and not a display.
Trust Stamp's Irreversibly Transformed Identity Token ("IT²") distinguishes legitimate clients from malicious actors through the facial comparison without storing sensitive PII or biometric templates. Once created, IT²s are irreversible and revocable, mitigating the risk of hacking or data breaches, protecting customer privacy, and allowing data sharing between institutions.
How Does Face Biometrics Work for Multi-factor Authentication?
Benefits of using Face Biometrics for Multi-factor Authentication
Face biometrics offer significant advantages, including:
- Increased security: By adding the inherence authentication factor, face biometric authentication enhances security making it more difficult for attackers to access accounts and sensitive information. Even if an attacker has obtained a password, they can only access an account secured by biometric MFA with the correct biometric data, such as facial recognition information.
- Improved Convenience: Face biometric authentication allows users to authenticate themselves quickly and easily with a simple and secure selfie without adding additional friction or time to the login process.
- Prevention of Impersonation: With liveness detection, biometric MFA can prevent using photographs or recorded videos to impersonate a legitimate user. This makes it extremely difficult for hackers or unauthorized persons to gain access.
3 Reasons to Use Face Biometrics For Multi-factor Authentication: A Summary
Traditional multi-factor authentication solutions are cumbersome and untrustworthy, leaving room for security breaches. Email and one-time passcodes can be easily hacked if a fraudster has access to a person's device.
Adding a third inherence authentication factor in the authentication process can significantly improve security and user experience and mitigate data breaches, identity theft, and fraud. Trust Stamp's Biometric MFA is a cutting-edge solution that perfectly balances security and user experience.