Step-up Authentication is a Risk-Based Authentication process that analyses the level of risk involved based on contextual factors and prompts users to fulfill additional authentication factors when the risk level is high. It adds an extra layer of security when it is needed. This process is also known as Adaptive MFA or Multi-Factor Authentication, which adapts to different scenarios to provide the right security measure.
Example: A user tries to access their account in a banking app or attempts a high-level transaction during odd hours or from an unknown location or IP. The Step-Up Authentication will prompt the user with an additional MFA challenge in order to grant access. If the user fails to fulfill the challenge, then access is denied. In the absence of Step-Up Authentication, hackers can gain unauthorized access with stolen credentials.
Step-up authentication enables precise access control based on user roles and privileges, allowing authorized individuals exclusive access to specific resources and critical actions.
It supports diverse authentication methods like biometrics, SMS codes, hardware tokens, and mobile apps, empowering users to select their preferred method.
Step-up authentication helps organizations comply with security and privacy regulations, meeting mandated standards for enhanced security measures.
Step-Up Authentication seamlessly integrates with APIs, adding extra security layers to apps across devices with web browser support, ensuring consistent and reliable security measures throughout the app ecosystem.
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Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is a broader security measure that applies to all kinds of user logins, while Step-Up Authentication is a more targeted approach where additional authentication factors are prompted depending on risk assessment based on contextual factors.
Here is a detailed distinction to understand these two security mechanisms:
Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
|An Additional layer of security is added based on risk assessment
|To add an additional layer of security during initial logins.
|It is applied to every login attempt by the user.
|It is triggered by the level of risk or the adaptive MFA policies set by the admin.
|As the MFA challenge is prompted on every login attempt, It is best for users who are accessing very critical resources but not frequently.
|Since the MFA Challenge is triggered only in high-risk scenarios, it is convenient for users when they have to login frequently.
Now, let's explore the significance of Step-Up Authentication and the benefits provided by miniOrange's Step Up Authentication solution.
When Step-up Authentication is enabled, runtime risk analysis is performed, significantly reducing the chances of unauthorized users gaining access to sensitive corporate information.
It prompts for MFA challenge only when necessary, allowing employees to focus on their work. Hence, security is enhanced, and overall workforce productivity is improved.
Step-up Authentication is a strong deterrent against fraud attempts, safeguarding both user accounts and the organization's financial assets in the event of password theft.
Implementing Step-Up Authentication results in a reduction of suspicious activity on user accounts. Organizations can allocate fewer resources, which leads to cost savings in the long run.
With miniOrange Step-Up Authentication, setting up and configuring various restriction & MFA methods on different devices becomes effortless.
Step-Up Authentication should be used during high-risk scenarios where added security measures are required beyond initial login. This includes high-risk transactions, access to sensitive data, detection of anomalous behavior, privileged actions, remote access, password resets, user-initiated security requests, response to security incidents, and compliance obligations.
Step-Up Authentication helps organizations maintain robust security while minimizing user friction during routine access by analyzing the level of risk and then applying additional authentication layers when needed.
Failed login attempts: Repeatedly entering incorrect credentials triggers step-up authentication. Users receive a magic link via email to reset their password.
Unusual location behavior: Logging in from a new location prompts step-up authentication. Users must provide additional credentials, such as a one-time passcode, for verification.
Unusual time of access: Logging in during atypical time frames triggers step-up authentication. Users may need to provide extra verification factors to ensure the legitimacy of the login attempt.
High-value transactions: Initiating significant financial transactions activates step-up authentication. Users are prompted to provide additional authentication factors, like security questions or biometric scans.
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