We’re not strangers to cloud services, but to date, the majority of investments in third-party cloud solutions have been by SMBs and consumers. Lately, more large-scale enterprises have been deploying cloud solutions in different parts of their operations. From Dropbox to Salesforce, more companies are embracing third-party cloud services, but as a result may be putting themselves at greater risk.
Despite increased attention on these solutions, the enterprise mindset on the security risks that come with them has been softening. In order to continue gaining the benefits that cloud services bring, we need enterprise-ready security strategies to accompany them. That way, when your sales team migrates to Salesforce and your finance team is pushing data and analytics over to Amazon Web Services, they won’t struggle to justify these transitions to the Chief Risk Officer.
Two-Factor Authentication for the Cloud
The question is, then, what’s the best, and easiest, way to secure third-party cloud services? The answer: Two-factor authentication (2FA) with biometrics. If you’re familiar with Google and Twitter’s implementations of 2FA, they utilize one-time passwords (OTPs) for security, but there are known flaws with this model. They can be susceptible to Man-in-the-Middle attacks and brute force tactics. But, if we replace these with mobile biometric authentication, we can optimize the security of enterprise-grade services without sacrificing any convenience.
The biometrics-centric model provides three key advantages:
- Customizable Levels of Security
Rather than using the same security method for logging into email that you do for accessing secure servers, you can adjust the strength of authentication required. Ask for a simple facial recognition capture for tasks with lower security risks, while preferring iris or hand recognition for more sensitive resources. This scalability helps improve the convenience for employees while optimizing security across an organization.
- Integration of Mobile Devices
The easiest way to capture and perform biometric matching is to use a mobile device. With their plethora of sensors, they are well equipped to provide multiple biometric options and the added security of sending additional identifying information, like the unique device identification number.
- Identity Verification
In order to accurately enroll biometrics, you need to verify the end user’s identity at the same time. This adds a critical step in security that passwords sorely lack – proof that the user is who they claim to be.
The ultimate goal for any security solution is to keep bad actors out without making it a hassle for the intended users to gain access. Biometric-based 2FA provides the final block in the security infrastructure needed to make third-party cloud services safe and convenient to use.