Multi-factor authentication (MFA) gets touted as a significant security improvement over traditional “username + password” authentication. However, not all MFA processes are created equal. As the opportunities narrow for cybercriminals to pick off the low-hanging fruit of password-only systems, they’ve turned their focus to weak MFA.

A growing number of organizations have suffered security breaches despite having MFA in place, thanks to expanding digital systems, more advanced phishing tools, and the continued allowance of passwords as an authentication factor. The past year, which saw Microsoft, Uber and Cisco breached by MFA “prompt bombing,” demonstrates that organizations can’t just deploy any type of MFA and presume they’re safe from breaches.

For these reasons, the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Cyber and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) have emphasized the need for phishing-resistant MFA, specifically passwordless MFA built around FIDO standards. We’ve examined FIDO standards and what they mean for authentication before, but in this post, we look at one of the most critical elements of the process: FIDO Certified authenticators.


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