Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) solutions improve business security by enforcing additional authentication measures, such as a text message, or a fingerprint, before users can access accounts that hold sensitive information or controls.
Essentially, with MFA in place businesses have an extra layer of security over their accounts. It helps to ensure that everyone who accesses company information is really who they say they are, helping to reduce the risk of account compromise. Multi-factor authentication tools should send users an email, text, or require a biometric check, such as a FaceID check or fingerprint scan, before users can login.
This isn’t designed to make life more difficult, but to stop attackers from getting into accounts in the case of a password compromise. It should still be easy and quick for legitimate users to get into accounts, which is why finding the right MFA solution is so important.
To help you find the right solution, here’s our list of the top MFA solutions for businesses. In this list, we’ll cover what MFA functionality each vendor offers, what customers have to say about the solution, and what the extra benefits of each service are. Many of these solutions will fit into a wider identity management platform, so we’ll also cover any additional features each vendor provides. Let’s jump right into the list!
JumpCloud is an Open Directory Platform™ that enables organizations to enforce and manage identity and access management tools—such as multi-factor authentication and single sign-on—and device management tools—mobile device management and patch management—via a single, central interface. JumpCloud makes it easy for IT admins to secure their users’ accounts and devices, implement and maintain Zero Trust policies, and demonstrate compliance with data protection standards.
JumpCloud’s MFA solution enables admins to secure user accounts against credential related breaches such as brute force and phishing attacks. Via the JumpCloud ProtectTM app, JumpCloud MFA supports a range of authentication methods that include push notification, universal second factor (UTF) keys, time-based one-time passwords (TOTPs), and in-device biometrics, enabling admins to choose the method best suited to their users to deliver a more secure and frictionless login experience.
JumpCloud administrators can set policies around logins—such as the user’s device and location—and, if the login is deemed out of policy, users are prompted to verify their identities via MFA. This helps to secure accounts against unauthorized access by attackers to access sensitive data through the use of stolen credentials. JumpCloud MFA also streamlines the administration process for IT administrators. Admins can enforce MFA easily from the same portal for all users; with the platform’s user-friendly enrollment feature, admins can establish flexible time frames for users to set up MFA remotely, with automated reminders to ensure that users comply.
JumpCloud MFA is entirely cloud-based, making it easily scalable, as well as quick to deploy and integrate with an organization’s existing IT environment. The JumpCloud Protect app is compatible with Apple iOS and Android devices and can be used as a second factor with macOS, Windows and Linux devices, VPN and wireless networks, and servers.
JumpCloud is used by over 180,000 organizations worldwide and is consistently ranked as a top solution by customers. Users praise JumpCloud for its simple, user-friendly interface and admins praise the ease with which they can implement MFA across their organizations. We recommend JumpCloud MFA as a smart choice for small, medium enterprises and mid-market organizations looking for easy-to-manage account security that they can roll out across a remote or hybrid workforce with minimum effort using their existing resources.
ESET is a market-leading vendor in lightweight, user-friendly cybersecurity solutions. ESET Secure Authentication is their enterprise two-factor authentication (2FA) solution, designed to reduce the risks associated with stolen password by requiring users to verify their identity in two ways before being granted access to a system. Currently supporting over 100 million users worldwide, ESET’s solution supports a range of authentication methods, ensuring that it’s compatible for all users, no matter what device they’re using to authenticate. It supports not only on-premises applications, but also web and cloud services such as Office 365 and Dropbox via SAML protocol integration, ensuring compliance and data security across all business systems.
With ESET Secure Authentication, users can verify their identity via mobile authentication apps, hardware tokens, FIDO security keys or ESET’s own push notifications, which are compatible with iOS and Android systems. This ensures that all users can interact easily with the solution, no matter what device they’re working on. As well as on-premises and cloud applications, ESET Secure Authentication’s full-featured API supports access security for remote desktop protocols and most popular corporate VPNs, including Barracuda, Cisco, Citrix and Palo Alto.
ESET Secure Authentication is fully cloud-based. Admins can manage the solution via a single web-based console, where they can monitor authentication organization-wide, set authentication policies, and generate access reports for compliance purposes. According to ESET, the solution deploys in just ten minutes, no matter how many users are being onboarded. This makes it suitable for both smaller businesses without a dedicated IT resource, and large enterprises that need to onboard a lot of users quickly. We recommend ESET Secure Authentication as a strong, intuitive solution for organization that want to implement two-factor authentication across all of their business systems and applications, no matter where they’re hosted.
ManageEngine is an established software vendor that forms the IT management division of business software company Zoho Corporation. ADSelfService Plus is its powerful password management, multi-factor authentication, and single sign-on solution that offers Endpoint MFA to help organizations better secure access to machines (Windows, macOS, and LinuxOS), VPNs, applications, endpoints, and Outlook Web Access (OWA). In terms of pricing, ADSelfService Plus comes in three tiers (Free, Standard, and Professional), but we should note that Endpoint MFA capabilities are only available as part of the highest tier—Professional Edition—which starts at $1195 for 500 domain users annually.
ADSelfService Plus enables organizations to protect multiple points of access with its strong MFA capabilities. Users can also protect SSO logins with MFA, both reducing the need to remember multiple passwords while adding an extra layer of security. The solution works firstly by authenticating user identity via their Active Directory domain credentials. Users are then prompted to authenticate using a second factor of authentication—with the platform offering an impressive 18 modes of authenticating identity, including security questions, SMS and email codes, authenticator apps, hardware security tokens, and QR codes, fingerprint, and facial recognition, and more. From the admin console, admins can also configure conditional access policies to determine which authentication methods are enforced for which groups of users and in which contexts.
In terms of installation, the solution can be installed both on servers and machines. Admins can also choose whether to install the 64-bit version or the 32-bit version, depending on their requirements. Current users’ rate ADSelfService Plus highly for its simple set up and deployment and easy-to-use platform. As a trusted partner to nine in ten Fortune 100 companies, we recommend ManageEngine’s ADSelfService Plus for larger organizations—particularly in industries such as finance, IT, healthcare, and government—that are looking for strong MFA to secure all access points, alongside advanced self-service password management capabilities and SSO.
Thales is a cloud data security provider that offers solutions for a number of user cases, including human and machine identity verification, access authorization, data discovery and encryption. SafeNet Trusted Access is Thales’ access management and authentication solution that enables organizations to manage user access to corporate applications and cloud services via a single, unified platform. To help ensure account security and protect against credential-based attacks such as account takeover, SafeNet Trusted Access features multi-factor authentication, adaptive and contextual authentication, integrated single sign-on and scenario-based access policies.
SafeNet Trusted Access verifies user identities via risk-based or “adaptive” multi-factor authentication. It analyzes the context of each users’ login for anomalous behavior and increases authentication requirements only if the login is considered unusual or risky. This ensures security without impacting end users’ login experience unnecessarily. SafeNet Trusted Access supports a wide range of authentication methods, including traditional password- and token-based authentication, certificate-based smart cards and integrated Kerberos authentication as well as modern authentication technologies such as SAML and OIDC. As well as MFA, SafeNet Trusted Access offers in-built single sign-on, which enables users to access all of their cloud applications via one set of login credentials (and one authentication process where necessary). Admins can manage MFA, adaptive authentication and SSO policies via one central policy engine. All policies can be configured at a user, group or application level.
Delivered as-a-Service, SafeNet Trusted Access deploys quickly in the cloud and offers the flexibility to easily scale as your organization grows. The platform supports authentication across Windows, MacOS, iOS and Android operating systems, as well as VPNs and cloud services. End users praise Thales’ solution for its ease of use, while admins praise its consistency and customer support. We recommend Thales SafeNet Trusted Access as a strong MFA solution for organizations who want to secure user access to cloud and web-bsaed applications and VPN usage, and particularly those who want integrated SSO combined with strong authentication capabilities.
HID is a market leading cybersecurity vendor that offers enterprise-grade, user-friendly identity verification solutions. HID’s Advanced Multi-Factor Authentication solution is a part of their Identity and Access Management (IAM) suite, sitting alongside identity and risk-based management products. The IAM suite enables IT teams to secure and manage access to both logical and physical assets, and HID currently secures over 85 million user identities globally with this offering. Advanced MFA enables secure access to corporate networks, VPNs and cloud applications such as Office 365. Additionally, the central management console features robust reporting capabilities, which administrators can use to gain insights into account usage and who is accessing which areas within the network.
HID’s Advanced MFA solution is centred around a zero-trust converged credential ecosystem. This system enables secure access to both physical corporate assets, like buildings, and logical assets such as networks. The system supports authentication via hardware tokens, PKI-based smart cards, digital certificates, mobile push notifications, and biometrics – which is particularly useful for organizations looking for a risk-based method. These methods support various digital protocols, including FIDO and OATH. Additionally, HID’s smart cards enable secure physical access to company sites. HID’s Advanced MFA supports single sign-on (SSO), so that users don’t have to remember multiple passwords. This saves IT resources from being spent dealing with password reset requests. HID IAM’s admin console also features powerful reporting and analytics tools, which leverage sophisticated AI to provide insights into who is accessing what parts of the network, as well as enable organizations to ensure security compliance.
Advanced MFA can be deployed on-prem or in the cloud. This makes it easy to set up, highly scalable and flexible. Because of this, Advanced MFA is a strong solution for organizations with plans for growth, those with remote or hybrid-remote environments, and those with multiple office sites. HID’s MFA solution is particularly popular among finance and government industries, due to its high level of security and its robust management features. We recommend HID Advanced MFA as a strong solution for any mid-sized organization or enterprise looking to secure and verify user access to corporate assets across multiple business levels.
Duo Security, acquired by Cisco in 2018, provides an access management solution that secures employee access to corporate accounts, helping businesses to reduce credential-based security risks and meet regulatory compliance. Duo’s solution is available via five plans, from a compact version for smaller teams right through to a comprehensive enterprise-grade version for larger businesses. This enables Duo to help organizations of any size to secure and monitor their account access.
Duo Security’s zero-trust MFA enables users to verify their identities via the Duo mobile app, which allows users to easily hit “approve” or “deny” for login attempts. Duo also integrates with universal 2nd factor authentication tokens, FIDO-supported hardware tokens, mobile passcodes, U2F USB devices, and biometric controls built into the user’s device, such as FaceID. Duo’s integrated SSO means that users only have to verify their identity at the beginning of their session, ensuring a seamless login experience that causes the user little disruption.
From the management console, admins can configure adaptive authentication policies based on factors such as user location, device and role. Duo checks user login data against these policies for anomalous access attempts, to ensure that further verification is only required for logins which are considered to be high-risk, increasing login efficiency.
Duo is cloud-based and integrates natively with existing applications. This makes it easy to roll out across an organization and gives the solution the flexibility to scale up as your business grows. We recommend Cisco Secure Access by Duo as a strong MFA solution for organizations of all sizes looking for a user-friendly yet powerful MFA solution.
Microsoft’s offers a leading enterprise multi-factor authentication solution delivered as part of Azure Active Directory (Azure AD), a cloud-based identity and access management solution that enables employees to access applications securely and easily, including Microsoft 365, Azure and thousands of integrated SaaS applications, as well as internal applications and custom cloud applications.
Azure AD MFA works by enforcing an additional verification check when users sign into Microsoft’s services, or applications connected to Azure AD, helping to reduce the risk of account compromise. Microsoft supports a wide range of authentication methods, including Microsoft’s own Authenticator app, Windows Hello For Business, FIDO2 Security Keys, OATH hardware and software tokens, SMS codes and voice calls.
End users can easily add and manage which of these authentication methods they wish to use, and admins can configure policies around the authentication process – for example enforcing number matching to reduce MFA bypass attacks, and implementing passwordless authentication, which removes the password from the authentication process and, replaces it with a secure MFA process.
From the activity dashboard, admins can monitor which authentication methods are being used across the organization. Admins can also configure conditional access policies that govern when additional multi-factor authentication rules are applied, based on users and groups, IP location, device, application, risk signal detection and more.
We highly recommend all Microsoft 365 users enforce Azure AD multi-factor authentication across their accounts. It is straightforward to roll out, and massively improves account security for all users. Microsoft Azure AD is a feature-rich authentication solution for organizations using Microsoft 365 looking to secure accounts with trusted MFA.
OKTA’s multi-factor authentication solution secures access for all your business accounts by authenticating all of your employees, partners and customers’ identities. OKTA’s service is designed to be secure, simple and intelligent. They’ve focussed on creating an easy to use admin portal that enforces MFA across the organization, with policies that enforces contextual based login in challenges.
What this in effect means is that users are prompted to verify their accounts based on contextual factors, so that user productivity is only impacted when it’s necessary for security reasons. For example, you may be prompted to authenticate your identity when you log in at a new location, on a new IP address, or on a new device. OKTA also support a range of different authentication methods, including security questions, one time passcodes sent via SMS, voice and email, a mobile app and biometrics.
Customers praise OKTA for it’s feature-rich offering, with an intuitive user interface. Customers report that it’s easy to sign in quickly, with different options for verification that means you can get into accounts even if you don’t have your phone to hand. OKTA is a good option for mid-market and larger enterprises, who need multiple authentication options and policies, without compromising user experience.
Ping Identity is an identity management suite that offers several different identity management features. This includes Single Sign-On, Multi-Factor Authentication and Directory. Ping is distributed via the cloud, providing an identity-as-a-service model as well as a software based solution. Ping has focussed on providing easy integrations for enterprise customers, allowing admins to use APIs, SDKs and integration kits to streamline implementation with existing infrastructure.
Ping uses contextual based adaptive authentication, that provides a better user experience and more effective security controls, without impacting on business productivity. This means that users can choose authentication methods, and admins can be sure a user is who they say they are, with factors checked like geolocation, IP Address and time since last authentication. With Ping, users can even choose to leave passwords behind entirely, with stronger authentication methods like mobile push authentication, QR codes, and other compliant authentication methods.
Customers praise how easy it is to build, secure and maintain application integration using Ping Identity. Customers also say Ping is a reliable and flexible authentication platform that meets compliance needs. End users also report that it’s easy to just log on and have access to all the applications that they need. Ping is most suitable for larger organizations that need to be able to integrate MFA across all their applications, with flexibility in deployment and adaptive authentication policies.
RSA is an enterprise-focussed multi-factor authentication and access management solution that allows admins to easily enforce risk-driven authentication policies across your organization. It provides a range of authentication methods, including push notifications, biometrics, one time passwords and SMS messages, as well as supporting hardware and software tokens to ensure maximum security for corporate accounts. However, RSA has focussed on convenience for end users.
While supporting legacy hardware and software tokens, RSA makes it easy for companies to move their users to new authentication options, such as mobile authentication options. This makes life easier for employees, meaning that they can easily use their cell phone to authenticate access to on-premise and cloud applications. RSA allows admins to enforce policy driven MFA and Single-Sign On across all of their custom and third party applications, as well as supporting more than 500 cloud and on-premise applications.
RSA is built for larger enterprise, with granular authentication features and policies. Customers praise the choice that users have between using token based authentication, or using the mobile app. Authentication using RSA is not as streamlined as some of the other authentication solutions on this list, but it provides a very high level of security, which customers argue gives them peace of mind, especially when dealing with very sensitive data. RSA is a strong authentication option for enterprises, especially those that need to meet compliance regulations because they deal with private data.
SecureAuth is an identity and access management (IAM) provider that offers a range of IAM solutions to help businesses manage users’ credentials and secure access to user accounts, without compromising the end user’s login experience. Arculix is SecureAuth’s flagship access and authentication platform, which leverages AI-driven behavioral analytics, granular policy configurations, and integrated single sign-on to enable organizations to continuously authenticate their users and maintain a frictionless login process.
Arculix analyzes the context of each login attempt—considering factors such as device health, IP reputation, device location, and historical user behavior—and produces a risk score for the login based on this data. If the login is deemed high risk, Arculix requires that the user verify their identity via one or more further methods. Arculix supports over 30 authentication methods, including passwordless biometric authentication, OTPs and push notifications, to ensure that all users can verify their identities, regardless of what type of device they’re using. Admins can configure granular authentication policies from the management console, as well as generate reports into login activity and account usage for security monitoring and compliance.
Arculix offers on-prem, cloud, and hybrid deployment options and offers full API integrations with a wide range of cloud service providers, web applications, and VPNs for easier set up and configuration. The platform also offers self-service enrolment, password resets, and platform updates for end users, simplifying the onboarding process as well as minimizing help desk tickets log-term. Overall, we recommend SecureAuth Arculix as a robust solution for both SMBs and enterprises looking for flexible, adaptive MFA that’s straightforward to deploy and supports both traditional and passwordless authentication methods
What Are MFA Solutions?
Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is a critical security process which adds an additional layer of protection to user authentication. Two-factor authentication is now a familiar process for many people today, as it has been increasingly incorporated into consumer processes and technologies. However, businesses adoption has been slower, despite a clear security need for the technology given its proven effectiveness in reducing account takeover attacks and data breaches.
Enterprise Multi-Factor Authentication solutions enable organizations to enforce the requirement for two or more factors of authentication to be applied to corporate accounts. This includes integrations with SaaS applications, custom applications, on-premises applications, and end-user endpoints.
Solutions featured enforce credential-based authentication via hardware and software. This may include asking an end user for a password, alongside the use of a credential keys facial recognition, or a one-time passcode delivered to a smart device.
Enterprise MFA solutions also enable network administrators to gain better visibility into users connected to their network and enforce protection across all users, with detailed reporting dashboards and policy controls. For this reason, MFA is seen as a fundamental step in achieving zero trust principles for organizations.
Enterprise Multi-Factor Authentication solutions are often delivered as part of a wider identity and access management platform, which can include wider authentication features such as single sign-on, privileged access management and directory management.
3 Key Questions To Ask MFA Providers?
1. What Integrations Do You Provide, And How Is The System Deployed?
Supported integrations and deployments are a critical question to ask multi-factor authentication providers. It’s important that the system you use can enforce authentication across all applications, devices, SaaS services and custom architecture needed, and that deployment is scalable and easy to manage.
As previously noted, we also highly recommend using a service that supports user-self enrolment, as this helps to streamline the process for admins, and is more convenient for end users who can choose the method of secure authentication that best fits their workflows.
2. How Can Users Authenticate If They Lose Access To Their Phone Or Credential Keys?
MFA solutions often leverage end user smartphones or hardware tokens to authenticate access. This is highly secure, as it’s unlikely cyber-criminals will have access to physical devices for most attacks, and very convenient for end users, who can gain access at the click of a button.
However, we’re all human and there will be times when users will lose their credential token. So, a key question to ask providers is how easy it is for admins to reset end-user access to make sure that people can securely and quickly get access to their systems and get back to work.
3. What Management Controls And Reporting Do You Offer?
Deploying MFA should enable much greater admin controls and oversight into end-user security. A key feature to consider is the usability and granularity of the admin dashboard. You should be able to see all connected users, the health of their devices, and any security risks that the system has identified. Look for services offering detailed reporting and granular policy configurations to ensure you can support and protect users.
Why Do You Need An MFA Solution?
The typical authentication process involves a single authentication factor: a password. This is something the user knows. Unfortunately, passwords on their own are not a secure enough method of authentication in the modern security landscape.
Users today have hundreds of passwords to remember, which often leads to weak passwords being used, which can be cracked by password-based attacks. Phishing attacks have also highlighted the weaknesses of passwords: if a user is successfully phished, they can give up their passwords without knowing they have been compromised.
Multi-factor alleviates these risks by adding at least one further factor of authentication. This can include something the user is, such as a biometric credential, commonly a fingerprint, facial or retina scan, or something the user has, such as a one-time-passcode delivered to a trusted device or authentication key.
This factor of authentication greatly improves the security of accounts. It reduces the likelihood of data breach by securing against phishing and account compromise. Microsoft claims that taking the step of implementing a second factor of authentication prevents 99.9% of attacks on your accounts. For this reason, we highly recommend all users implement an MFA solution as a fundamental pillar of their security strategy.
How Does MFA Software Work?
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) software works by requiring identity to be verified by at least two factors of authentication before a user is granted access to applications, devices, and networks. This vastly improves account security, making it much harder for accounts to be compromised by phishing and password theft.
There are three factors of authentication: something you know, something you have, and something you are. Traditionally, when logging into an account, users would only need one factor – something they know – such as a password.
Multi-factor authentication solutions ensure that users also need at least one second factor of authentication when logging into an account. This could be something the user has (such as a FIDO token, smartphone, or physical hardware token) or something the user is, such as a biometric check, like TouchID or FaceID.
Enterprise multi-factor authentication solutions are usually cloud-based and sold via a SaaS subscription model. They normally support a wide range of authentication options, such as OTPs, authentication apps, FIDO, physical hardware, and biometrics. They will support integrations with multiple other SaaS services, as well as on-premises applications or even custom-built apps. They will also often offer other identity security features, such as single sign-on, to further improve account security.
The most secure, modern authentication services offer adaptive authentication. This enforces stringent identity controls, such as requiring multiple forms of identity checks and verifications, when suspicious user activity is detected. For example, if a user logs in from a new country, or from a new device. This helps to improve account security, while minimizing the impact for legitimate users who need to access their accounts.