Which MFA Form Is Securest and Convenient?


Credential theft is at an all-time high, leading to more data breaches than any other type of data breach.

Passwords are now the fastest and most convenient way to perform various types of risky activities, since data and business processes are now typically cloud-based.

A hacker could log in as a user and send phishing emails to your customers or staff using your company account. They could also infect cloud data with ransomware and demand thousands of dollars to have it returned.

How can you safeguard your online accounts, business operations and data? Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is one of the best methods for protecting these resources.

Even if the user credentials are valid, this acts as a major deterrent for cybercriminals. They won't have access to complete the authentication process and won't have any way of circumventing it.


Before you implement multifactor authentication in your business, it is essential to assess which of the three primary MFA methods is most secure and convenient for your needs. Certain features make some methods more secure than others while making others simpler to use.

Let us examine these three methods:


SMS-based MFA is the most common type. This authentication utilizes text messaging for confirmation.

Setting up MFA requires the user to enter their mobile number. Once logged in, they'll receive a text message containing a time-sensitive code.

On-Device Prompt in an App

A special app will push the code through multi-factor authentication. Although the user generates their MFA code during login, it isn't sent via SMS; rather, they receive it through the app.

Push notifications can usually be utilized, though they may also be utilized with desktop or mobile apps in certain circumstances.


Another method for MFA is using a separate security code that you insert into your mobile device or PC to authenticate login. The key is purchased when setting up the MFA solution; it will receive and automatically execute the authentication code.

MFA security keys are typically smaller than traditional thumb drives and must be kept by users in order to authenticate their logins.

Let us now examine the distinctions between these three methods.

MFA: The Most Convenient Form

Sometimes MFA can seem to bog down users. Not only does MFA make learning new applications and remembering small security keys more complex (what happens if that key gets lost?), but it makes it harder to focus on other tasks as well.

Companies may feel less secure without multi-factor authentication.

SMS-based MFA is your best bet if you are facing user resistance.

Most people are already used to receiving text messages on their smartphones, so there is little need for learning or installing anything new.


Securing sensitive data stored on cloud platforms like your online accounting software could be in your best interests.

Security codes are the most secure form of multi-factor authentication (MFA).

Due to the security key being on a separate device, it won't impact your accounts in the event of loss or theft of a mobile phone. Your accounts would still remain vulnerable with both SMS-based and app-based versions being compromised.

SMS-based security is among the weakest. There is malware that can clone SIM cards, allowing hackers to access MFA text messages.

Google conducted a study to compare the effectiveness of three types of MFA in blocking various attacks. Overall, security keys proved most successful.

Percentage of attacks that were blocked

SMS-Based: Between 76 and 100%

Prompt for on-device apps: 90 - 100%

Security Key: Guaranteed protection against all three types of attacks

What Stands Between These Two Methods of Multi Factor Authentication?

Where does the app with on-device prompt fit in between them? It sits squarely in between both MFA methods.

Push notification-based MFA applications provide more security than SMS-based MFA and require less carrying around of separate security codes that could easily get lost or misplaced.

Are You Struggling with Implementing Multi-factor Authentication in Your Company?
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is an essential solution in today's hostile threat landscape. Let's discuss your obstacles and find a way to work together towards securing your cloud environment.