In today's hyper-connected world, conventional security perimeters have become obsolete. Gone are the days when employees could only access firewall-protected corporate applications when connected to the office network.
The rise of remote work and the increasing adoption of cloud-based applications have made it necessary for employees to have ubiquitous access to critical resources. This shift to a perimeter-less world has created several challenges for security teams.
Traditional security controls, such as firewalls and VPNs, are no longer enough to secure a distributed infrastructure or support a remote workforce. Additionally, security teams must balance security and convenience, as hampering productivity with overly cumbersome security measures is not an option.
To solve these challenges, security teams need a robust new strategy that can adapt to the evolving threat landscape, while delivering a seamless user experience. Enter Desktop MFA, aka device-level MFA, a strong authentication approach that protects user devices. Once a user has logged in to their desktop, the Desktop MFA solution may offer passwordless single sign-on access to corporate applications and resources.
Desktop MFA adds a cryptographically secure second factor to the endpoint and user authentication process. This ensures that users can only access applications they are authorized to access, from endpoints that are registered on the access management system.
Desktop MFA is typically implemented as a two-factor authentication mechanism. Typically, the first factor is their password, and the second factor is a One-Time Password (OTP) or hardware token.
The steps involved in Desktop MFA are:
Desktop MFA helps strike a balance between security and experience, especially when authenticating remote employees. By configuring desktop MFA on endpoints, organizations can often provide remote employees with a passwordless-yet-secure way to access apps wherever they are.
Employees only have to log in to their device once, and the Desktop MFA tool handles the rest. This reduces the need to maintain multiple passwords and decreases the overall attack surface of the organization. Moreover, in case of a stolen or compromised device, an administrator can seamlessly revoke access by invalidating the certificate or key.
Enabling MFA for remote desktop connections is a great way to increase your overall security posture. There are different ways you can go about it:
Desktop MFA offers numerous advantages for businesses: