At offices, it can be a constant battle to maintain an equilibrium between security and productivity. Allowing too much freedom on your network could put users at risk; conversely, too many security gates may lead to decreased output.
Finding a balance between them is achievable, though not always easy. Both are essential for organizations - not one over the other.
Microsoft recently reported on a serious lack of authentication security in Azure Active Directory. Only 22% of users had multi-factor authentication enabled, leaving more than three quarters at much greater risk for account breaches.
Why do organizations still ignore security protocols like multi-factor authentication (MFA)? MFA can be 99.9% effective at stopping fraudulent sign ins, yet many companies lack the courage to implement them.
The primary motivation is user inconvenience. MFA isn't expensive to enable in most cloud applications - in fact, it's free! But companies may opt not to enable it if they feel that it impedes productivity or makes the experience too challenging.
However, breaching security can further hinder productivity. Data breaches cause costly downtime and could ultimately lead to the closure of smaller businesses due to credential compromise. Credential compromise is the leading cause of data breaches.
35% of data breaches begin with compromised login credentials.
There are numerous ways to ensure your users remain productive and secure. All it takes is finding solutions that work, then applying them accordingly. While these tools improve authentication security, it's essential that you consider the user's convenience too.
Solutions to Enhance Security Without Sacrificing Comfort
Utilize Contextual Authentication Rules
Each user does not need to go through the exact same authentication process. A certain trust factor is required for someone working within your building; that same level of assurance may not exist for someone logging on from abroad.
Contextual authentication combined with multi-factor authentication (MFA) can be used to target users who require higher standards. You can restrict or block access for users logging in from certain regions, and create a challenge question for those who log on after-hours.
Companies don't need to require employees to work outside their normal hours. They can simply verify that they are logging on under unusual circumstances by looking into the following contextual factors:
- Time of day
- Device used
- Time since last login
- Types of resources that can be accessed.
Install Single Sign-On (SSO) Solution
A report shows that U.S. workers utilize many apps, with workers switching between 13 apps on average 30 times daily. This poses additional hassle if MFA actions need to be used for each login.
This problem can be addressed using single sign-on apps. These streamline the authentication process of multiple apps into a unified login, so employees only have to log in once and go through Multi Factor Authentication (MFA) once.
Multi-factor authentication is no longer a daunting challenge. All information is accessible to users at once, enabling organizations to strengthen their security without any user pushback.
Recognizing devices is another way to increase network security. Endpoint device managers are used for this task, automating user authentication without any inconvenience to the user.
Register employee devices in endpoint device manager and you can set up security rules, allowing you to block unknown devices automatically.
You can also implement device scanning for malware or automated updates to improve security without compromising productivity. These two measures together offer the perfect balance of efficiency and protection.
Role-based authentication can be an advantageous solution
Your shipping clerk might not have access to sensitive customer data, while your accounting team has that same kind of knowledge. By setting a lower authentication bar, one reduces the need for further validation.
Role-based authentication is a time saver when creating new employee accounts. Access and authentication are controlled by the role of each individual, allowing administrators to program permissions as well as contextual authentication factors once. After an employee is assigned their role, this process will be fully automated.
Add biometrics to your list
Biometrics is one of the simplest forms of authentication. It requires no user input whatsoever, taking only a few seconds.
Depending on your company's size, biometric hardware can be costly. But you don't have to introduce it all at once; start by using them for your most sensitive roles and gradually expand.
Many apps now support facial scanning. It is possible to authenticate with a standard smartphone, making authentication cheaper and more accessible.
Do you need assistance improving authentication security?
Don't let user backlash prevent you from taking action - contact us to book a security consultation now.