The Maryland Department of Information Technology (DoIT) offers Maryland state agencies a secure and centrally managed Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) platform, also known as Identity Access Management (IAM) and Single Sign-On (SSO). The DoIT IAM technology can be used to initiate, capture, record and manage user identities and their related access permissions in an automated fashion. This ensures that access privileges granted according to one interpretation of policy and all individuals and services are properly authenticated, authorized and audited.
Features and Benefits
One of the greatest benefits of Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is that it allows organizations to use advanced security options like Single Sign-On (SSO), which is easier for users, but harder for hackers. With SSO, the user performs an initial MFA process. Once that’s done successfully, the user is admitted to their SSO software and can gain access to all their required apps and data without having to enter passwords or credentials each time. This in turn lets users avoid entering passwords multiple times a day, saving them a few minutes of time each day.
MFA requires additional credentials beyond username and password for gaining access to an application, site, or data. There are three basic elements that can be used in MFA:
- The user knows (like a password or PIN)
- The user possesses (like a smart card or mobile phone)
- The user is (as represented by, say, a fingerprint)
Another benefit is to deter social engineering. Social engineering is a technique used by hackers to gain access to people’s data, accounts, or financial information. Through social engineering, hackers will attempt to talk someone out of a password, or other identifying information (like a Social Security number). This might be easy, however when combined with MFA, attempting to talk someone out of a password and the special code sent to their phone is extremely difficult or impossible. More people are conscientious enough to not allow that level of manipulation.
Additionally, MFA services offer improved protection, ensure maximum security and unparalleled protection that doesn’t get in the way of the user experience and productivity.
Ronald L. Mundy
DoIT Service Desk