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The last decade has seen some serious rise in the amount of cyber crime. With all the technological advancement and digitization of personal data a need for better security system is called for. Cyber criminals too have become technologically advanced. They find cracks in the security systems easily and take advantage of it. A single password isn’t enough to stand against the threats posed by modern hackers and criminals. Password breaches are rising continuously at an alarming rate. One of the reasons is continual reuse of same password for various platforms or keeping the same password for a long time. Thus, we are in a critical need of a better and improved authentication process. A multi factor authentication system diminishes the effects of excessive password reuse. It requires more than a password something they possess for their authentication. MFA is becoming a trend in the Cyber security domain and soon it will be a norm.

The types of Multi Factor Authentication (MFA)

The multi factor authentication generally includes (i)something you know like PINs, codes (ii) something you have like physicals objects, smartcards, USB drives, mobiles and (iii) something you are like body parts, fingerprints, Iris scan etc. According to various market valuation reports, the market follows these trends in the employment of MFAs:

  • The two-factor authentication is most widely used MFA model
  • The three-factor authentication model is the second most used method. In it a smartcard with PIN and one time password (OTP) is used.
  • Biometric based MFA models also are on a rise and growing at a fast rate. Followed by four factor and five factor authentication models as per the security requirements.

The Rise of Multi Factor Authentication (MFA) models

Multi-factor authentication is becoming a pre-requisite for a number of companies. and it’s expected to become a norm by 2020 for the government and the banking sector as well. The trends and forecasts regarding this area are as follows:

  • In the last five years there has been a boom in the MFA market. In 2014 it was valued at USD 3.6 Billion and with its exponential growth it’s expected to reach USD 9.6 Billion by 2020, with a compound annual growth rate of 17.7%.
  • BFSI sector holds a 45.98% share of MFA market, PCI sector a share of 21.19%, the government sector a 12.9% share, healthcare 5.77% and others 14.16% (Report by Amrita choudhary a tech analyst). It is expected that the government sector’s share is likely to rise as more attempts are done at data and identity theft in this sector.
  • The recent trends suggest that Out of band authentication (OOBA) which requires two different signals from two different networks will be in demand. Its sophisticated authentication prevents many kinds of fraud and hacking.
  • Cloud Multi-factor authentication will be preferred due to increase in maintenance costs for hardware and software in the two factor and three factor authentication models. Besides this other benefits are pay per use, improved reliability, accessibility, easy installation and up-gradation, less interference of IT personnel and Zero maintenance costs.
  • Introduction of unified platforms will be a new step that will combine both the software and hardware based authentication models, resulting in reduction of costs of maintaining separate platforms.
  • An increased adoption of Multi-factor authentication in the SMBs. The cost conscious small and medium business enterprises will look for cheaper hardware based OTP tokens for authentication.

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