What Multi-Factor Authenticator App Will You Choose?
By now you’ve likely heard of Multi-Factor Authentication, especially in regards to Salesforce. This authentication method requires two or more verification factors to access a resource such as an application or online account. There are multiple options to make your MFA login experience quick and easy; read on for details.
What is Multi-Factor Authentication?
\Multi-Factor Authentication for Salesforce isn’t just a good idea – it’s now a compliance requirement! This authentication method requires two or more verification factors to access a resource such as an application or online account. Verification factors can include something you know, like your username and password, and something you have, like a verification code generated from a MFA app. Both of these are required in order to sign-in, making your login more secure.
For some, the process of logging in normally is already a headache. Surely you are not looking forward to yet another interruption to your hectic day. First, let me explain why MFA is so important (despite its inconvenience). Second, let me offer some MFA apps that can make your life easier.
Why is MFA important?
The reason that the tech world is moving towards multi-factor authentication (and Salesforce is making it a requirement) is for your enhanced security! Your normal credentials are very susceptible to hacking. In fact, the Verizon 2021 Data Breach Investigation found that 61% of data breaches involved stolen credentials.
This can lead to very serious consequences for you and your business including revenue loss, damage to brand reputation, loss of intellectual property, and more.
Now that you understand MFA’s importance, let’s explore some application options that may streamline the MFA login experience at your company.
The Salesforce Authenticator app is an MFA app developed exclusively for authentication into Salesforce orgs. This makes for a rather seamless experience when logging in, since the app automatically integrates into the Salesforce login process.
After entering your credentials, your phone receives a notification from the Salesforce Authenticator app. You can tap the push notification to approve without opening the app.
The app will also notify you of unrecognized login activity and you can block this with a tap as well. However, this integration means that the app cannot be used for applications outside of Salesforce.
A unique feature of the Salesforce Authenticator is its ability to automate logins from a Trusted Location. You are able to enable location services within the app. This means each time you login from your “Trusted Location”, like your home or office, the Multi-Factor Authentication is automatically verified. This makes your process even more seamless. This feature not offered by most other MFA apps out there!
The Salesforce Authenticator app also offers the option to backup your connected accounts in the app in case you lose, damage, or replace your mobile device. This way you can restore your accounts on another mobile device.
Google Authenticator is the original authenticator app and paved the way for the other apps we have listed here. It is a widely adopted standard across most major services and websites and might even come pre-installed on your mobile device.
It doesn’t come with many of the bells and whistles like syncing across multiple devices or backup to the app or cloud allowing for account recovery. For example, it isn’t tied to your Google account. Some have complained that the app has trouble keeping up with new mobile operating system updates – sometimes closing unexpectedly or not opening when prompted.
Speaking of bells and whistles, the Authy MFA app is decked out. Unlike most MFA apps, it is available on mobile and desktop platforms, including iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, and Linux. This can prove to be a major convenience if you’re not one to keep your phone out while you work – only having to click from one screen to another instead of rummaging for a phone you may not have nearby.
Similarly to the Salesforce Authenticator app, Authy offers a backup option you can enable. However, this backup is to the cloud and is encrypted on your device prior to upload for extra security. This allows for account recovery and the use of multiple devices. You can have the same tokens or verification codes available through the app on your mobile device, tablet, and laptop at the same time! In addition, for more security, you can add a PIN or biometric protection to the app on your phone. These features are very useful, however, it is not obvious in the app how to enable them. Neither does the app best explain the security risks you assume when you enable these features.
MFA Alternative: Single Sign-on (SSO)
Single Sign-On is an authentication service that allows users to use one set of login credentials to access multiple applications. For example, your business may use a Social SSO, allowing you to use your LinkedIn or other social media authentication credentials to access your org.
If MFA is already enabled for your SSO provider, then your business does not need to enable Salesforce’s MFA for users who log in via SSO. For example, if users who log in via their Google account already have MFA enabled and use Google Authenticator, then they will be logged in to Salesforce through SSO and will not be asked to authenticate their account again through another MFA app.
In the end, Multi-Factor Authentication is a vital form of protection when engaging in the tech world. Thankfully, there are lots of options to accommodate your work lifestyle and needs.
The Google Authenticator app is a simple, no nonsense way to get introduced to what MFA apps can do. If you are looking to stick to the basics, look no further. The Salesforce Authenticator is great to manage secure and seamless access to all your org accounts. If you work consistently from one location, like an office or at home, you can even add this as a Trusted Location and automate your Multi-Factor Authentication process. Finally, the Authy app is for someone with versatile needs. If you are working from multiple devices and need secure and organized access to a host of accounts and applications, this app is for you.
There are so many MFA apps available! Which ones did I miss that you can’t live without? What features are most important for your everyday routine?
Contact us today to discuss the best fit for your organization.