Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) reviews by real, verified users. Find unbiased ratings on user satisfaction, features, and price based on the most reviews available anywhere.
Products classified in the overall Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) category are similar in many regards and help companies of all sizes solve their business problems. However, enterprise business features, pricing, setup, and installation differ from businesses of other sizes, which is why we match buyers to the right Enterprise Business Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) to fit their needs. Compare product ratings based on reviews from enterprise users or connect with one of G2's buying advisors to find the right solutions within the Enterprise Business Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) category.
In addition to qualifying for inclusion in the Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) Software category, to qualify for inclusion in the Enterprise Business Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) Software category, a product must have at least 10 reviews left by a reviewer from an enterprise business.
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Auth0 provides a platform to authenticate, authorize, and secure access for applications, devices, and users. Security and application teams rely on Auth0's simplicity, extensibility, and expertise to make identity work for everyone. Safeguarding billions of login transactions each month, Auth0 secures identities so innovators can innovate, and empowers global enterprises to deliver trusted, superior digital experiences to their customers around the world. For more information, visit https://au
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The main purpose of using multi-factor authentication (MFA) software is for increased security when users log in to accounts. Companies use this software to ensure only authorized users—such as employees, contractors, or customers have secure access to specific company accounts. This helps prevent both insider threats, such as unauthorized employees from accessing sensitive data, and external threats, like cybercriminals deploying phishing attacks for data breaches, from accessing restricted accounts.
MFA requires users to complete additional authentication steps to prove their identity prior to being granted access to applications, systems, or sensitive information. The software helps secure accounts by providing additional security using a layered, multi-step authentication approach. Generally, the first step to authenticate a user’s identity includes a standard username and password login process. After this initial login attempt, the second step might require users to enter a code provided by a software app on a mobile device, a hardware token like a key fob, or a code sent to a user via (SMS) text message, email, or phone call. Other authentication steps might include presenting a biometric like a fingerprint or a faceprint, or presenting other identifying signals like the user’s typical IP address, their device ID, or via behavioral factors verified by risk-based authentication (RBA) tools.
What Does MFA Stand For?
MFA stands for multi-factor authentication. It requires two or more different authentication factors. This software may also be referred to as two-factor authentication (2FA) or two-step verification when employing exactly two different authentication factors.
What are the factors of authentication?
MFA software requires users to authenticate with some or all of the following five factors:
Single-factor authentication: Single-factor authentication requires users to authenticate with something they know. The most common single-factor authentication is password-based authentication. This is considered insecure because many people use weak passwords or passwords that are easily compromised.
Two-factor authentication: Two-factor authentication requires users to authenticate with something they have. It requires users to provide the information they have, usually, a code provided by an authenticator app on their mobile devices, SMS or text message, software token (soft token), or hardware token (hard token). The code provided can be either an HMAC-based one-time password (HOTP) which does not expire until used, or a time-based one-time password (TOTP) that expires in 30 seconds.
Three-factor authentication: Three-factor authentication requires users to authenticate with what they are. It takes into account something unique to the user such as biometric factors. They can include fingerprint scans, finger geometry, palmprint or hand geometry scans, and facial recognition. Using biometrics for authentication is becoming increasingly common as biometric logins on mobile devices, including facial recognition software and fingerprint scanning capabilities, have gained in popularity among consumers. Other biometric authentication methods, such as ear shape recognition, voiceprints, retina scans, iris scans, DNA, odor identity, gait patterns, vein patterns, handwriting and signature analysis, and typing recognition, have not yet been widely commercialized for MFA purposes.
Four-factor authentication: Four-factor authentication requires users to authenticate with where they are and when. It considers a user’s geographic location and the time it took for them to get there. Usually, these authentication methods do not require a user to actively authenticate this information, instead, this runs in the background when determining a specific user’s authentication risk. Four-factor authentication verifies a user’s geolocation, which points to where they currently are and their geo-velocity, which is the reasonable amount of time it takes for a person to travel to a given location. For example, if a user authenticates with an MFA software provider in Chicago and 10 minutes later attempts to authenticate from Moscow, there is a security issue.
Five-factor authentication: Five-factor authentication requires users to authenticate with something they do. It relates to specific gestures or touch patterns that users generate. For example, using a touch-screen enabled with a relatively new OS, that supports the feature, users can create a picture password where they draw circles, straight lines, or tap an image to create a unique gesture password.
There are several kinds of MFA software. In addition to standard MFA functionality, many companies are moving toward RBA software, also known as intelligent MFA, which uses risk monitoring to determine when to request users for authentication. The different types of authentication methods can include:
Mobile apps: A common way users prefer to authenticate is using MFA software’s mobile app.
Software token: Software tokens enable users to use MFA mobile apps including wearable devices. Using software tokens is considered more secure than using OTP via SMS, since these messages can be intercepted by hackers. Software tokens can be used when offline, making it convenient for end users who may not have access to the internet.
Push notifications: Push notifications make authentication simple for end users. A notification is sent to a user’s mobile device asking them to approve or deny the authentication request. Convenience is crucial for user adoption of MFA tools.
Hardware token: Hardware tokens are pieces of hardware users carry with them to authenticate their identity. Examples include OTP key fobs, USB devices, and smart cards. Common issues with hardware tokens include the hardware’s expense plus the added cost of replacements when users lose them.
One-time passwords (OTP) via SMS, voice, or email: Users who can’t use mobile apps on their phones can opt to use OTP sent to their mobile devices via SMS text message, voice call, or email. However, receiving authentication codes via SMS is considered one of the least secure ways to authenticate users.
Risk-based authentication (RBA) software: RBA, also known as intelligent or adaptive MFA, uses real-time information about end users to evaluate their risk and prompt them to authenticate when needed. RBA software analyzes IP addresses, devices, behaviors, and identities to set personalized authentication methods for each distinct user attempting to access the network.
Passwordless authentication: Passwordless authentication, also known as invisible authentication, relies on RBA factors such as location, IP address, and other user behaviors. Push notifications are considered passwordless authentication, as a user is not required to enter a code, but merely asked to accept or reject an authentication request.
Biometrics: Biometric authentication factors, such as facial and fingerprint recognition, are gaining popularity among consumers, and therefore, MFA software providers are beginning to support them. Currently, other biometric factors, such as iris scanning, are not available in MFA tools. One issue with using biometrics for authentication is that once they are compromised, they are compromised forever.
MFA as a service: Tying in with a company’s cloud-based directories, some MFA providers offer cloud-based MFA as a service solution. These often support multiple authentication methods including push notifications, software tokens, hardware tokens, online and offline authentication, and biometrics.
On-premises MFA: On-premises MFA solutions run on a company’s server. Many software vendors are phasing out these kinds of MFA solutions and pushing customers to cloud-based solutions.
Offline-available MFA: Users who need to authenticate, but do not have access to the internet, can use MFA solutions with offline support. For example, many federal employees work in controlled, secure environments and might not have access to the internet. Federal government civilian employees might use personal identity verification (PIV) cards to authenticate, while the Department of Defense employees authenticate using a common access card (CAC). For general civilians, they can authenticate offline using a mobile app with offline access to OTPs or one that uses a hardware-based U2F security key.
Enterprise solutions: Companies that manage MFA deployments to many users need robust solutions and will opt for software with administrator consoles, endpoint visibility, and connect with single sign-on (SSO) software.
The following are some core features within MFA software that can help users authenticate via multiple modalities.
Multiple authentication methods: To meet diverse needs, end users may like to authenticate in different ways. These might include OTPs sent via SMS, voice, email, push notifications sent to mobile devices, biometrics like fingerprints or facial recognition, hardware tokens such as key fobs, or fast identity online (FIDO) devices. Different software offer various kinds of authentication methods. It’s important to consider what type of authentication would work best for a specific organization.
Supports access types: Ensuring MFA software works with a company’s existing cloud applications, local and remote desktops, web, VPN, and other applications is important.
Prebuilt APIs: Developers adding MFA software in their applications may seek a provider with a prebuilt API for ease of development. Many software providers offer branded MFA functionality to maintain the look and feel of a developer’s own applications.
Supports FIDO protocols: FIDO is a set of protocols based on public-key encryption created by the FIDO Alliance that is more secure than OTPs. FIDO supports authentication of almost any type, including USB, near-field communication (NFC), and Bluetooth. FIDO protocols are the basis of passwordless authentication.
Self-registration and self-help portals: Positive user experience is critical for end-user adoption of MFA software. Many providers offer self-registration processes for end users, as well as self-service portals which save the deployment team’s time.
Administrator tools: Administrators need tools to help them be most effective in deploying MFA software, as well as meeting company policies. Some MFA providers allow administrators to limit MFA to specific IP addresses or applications and specific geographical or secure locations. Many MFA tools have policy settings that restrict end users from using jailbroken devices. When employees leave or change roles, some MFA providers offer automatic deprovisioning features.
Security: The main purpose of MFA software is for increased security when logging in to accounts. Companies use this software to ensure that only authorized users can log on and have access to specific company accounts. This helps the company prevent both insider threats, such as unauthorized employees, and external threats, like hackers, from accessing restricted accounts.
Simplified login processes: Another reason businesses use MFA software is to simplify login processes for their employees. Passwords can be a hassle and are not enough to secure an account anymore. Considering the number of accounts users have, many people struggle to remember their passwords and reuse weak or compromised passwords across multiple accounts. Because of password fatigue, companies need ways to secure their employees' accounts while keeping the process simple for end users. MFA can reduce, and in some instances entirely remove the need for passwords.
Improve customer experience: Developers use MFA software to increase security while simplifying login processes for their customers by embedding MFA tools in their applications. Trust is paramount for a company's success, so encouraging customers and other end users to secure their accounts is essential. Application developers are increasingly implementing MFA in the design of their applications.
Save time for helpdesk teams: MFA software also improves productivity for help desk teams who deploy these tools to employees. Many of these tools are easy to install and have simple interfaces, contributing to widespread adoption. Many include self-help tools that free up help desk team members' time.
Meet regulatory compliance: Some regulatory compliance rules, such as payment processing and healthcare regulations, require that MFA software be set up on user accounts.
Everyone--from individual users to company employees and customers--should use MFA software to protect their accounts. It is even more important to use it to secure email accounts and password vaults to reduce the risk of being hacked. There are free versions of MFA software available for individuals and light users, as well as enterprise-level software available with added functionality for corporate deployments.
Individuals: individuals use MFA software to protect their personal accounts including email, password vaults, social media, banking, and other apps.
Administrators: Administrators or help desk technicians deploy MFA software to their colleagues. With large deployments, many administrators seek an MFA solution that provides a robust administrator platform to help with provisioning, deprovisioning, and setting risk policies.
End users: End users, like company employees or customers, use MFA software on a daily basis. Accessible solutions with easy usability increase the adoption of these tools, improving security. Presently, many MFA software deployments utilize mobile device applications in the process.
Developers: Developers, engineers, and product teams use MFA software to ensure the applications they’ve built are secure for end users. While some developers might choose to build their own MFA software, many are embedding existing MFA software solutions in their apps using APIs that allow developers’ software to integrate with the MFA software.
Related solutions include:
Passwordless authentication software: Passwordless authentication is a type of MFA software that eliminates a password as an authentication type. Instead of using passwords (something the user knows), passwordless authentication relies on authenticating a user via other means, such as something a user has (like a trusted mobile device or a hardware security key) and something that they are (for example, scanning their fingerprint).
Biometric authentication software: Biometric authentication software is a type of MFA software that helps improve security for networks, applications, and physical locations by requiring biometric factors as an additional access qualifier. Biometric authentication tools utilize physical characteristics including facial, fingerprint, or voice recognition, to verify a user’s identity.
Risk-based authentication software: RBA software is a type of MFA software that analyzes contextual factors like the user’s IP addresses, devices, behaviors, and identities to set customized authentication methods for each individual user attempting to access the network. Non-suspicious users accessing applications from known devices, locations, and networks may be automatically signed in. Suspicious users may be required to provide step-up authentication methods, such as inputting an SMS code, biometric verification, or email confirmation actions to properly verify their identity.
Single sign-on (SSO) software: SSO software is an authentication tool that provides users with access to multiple applications or datasets without requiring multiple logins through the use of federation. Many SSO solutions have MFA functionality native within their software.
Identity and access management (IAM) software: IAM software authenticates workforce users, provides access to systems and data, tracks user activity, and provides reporting tools to ensure employees comply with company policies. MFA is one component of this software.
Customer identity and access management (CIAM) software: Businesses use CIAM software to manage customer user identities and offer those customers a secure, seamless login experience for the company’s websites, applications, and other online services. MFA is one component of this software. CIAM software also allows businesses to manage customer identities, preferences, and profile information at scale. These solutions enable customers to self register for services, login and authenticate, and manage their own user profiles, including consent and other preferences.
Identity verification software: Businesses verify user identities to create trust online and offline, prevent identity fraud, and comply with privacy and anti-fraud regulations using identity verification software. This is different from authentication. With identity verification, companies are trying to verify who an unknown person is (1:N match). With authentication, however, a company is trying to ensure that the person logging in is indeed the known person they already know (1:1 match).
MFA methods: It is important to choose the best MFA methods for the workforce. For example, if the workforce cannot carry mobile phones to their job sites—such as those in manufacturing, healthcare, or government roles—businesses must consider using a hardware token. If the workforce often needs to authenticate themselves while they are not online, businesses should choose a solution that allows offline authentication.
User adoption: Unlike many security tools that information security professionals deploy in the background, MFA tools are used by everyday users. It is important to properly train employees and ensure they understand how to use these tools.
All companies that have end users accessing important company resources should authenticate their users’ identities prior to granting access. Given that usernames and passwords are easily hacked, having a second or third form of authentication is advisable.
All companies: Any company that wants to ensure that only verified, permissioned people--such as employees, contractors, or customers--have access to company accounts.
Regulated industries: While all companies should secure their resources, companies operating in regulated industries may be required by industry standards or law to do so. For example, many businesses that process credit card payments are subject to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliance standards that require MFA on their accounts. Similarly, the European Union Payment Services Directive requires strong customer authentication for electronic payments. Additionally, other bodies, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) for healthcare and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) for finance and accounting, require strong authentication processes.
As the buyer develops their list of requirements and priorities for selecting MFA software, they must keep these items in mind:
End user use cases: Determining the company’s end-user use cases is essential. The buyer should also classify the users they are trying to authenticate--are they employees, contractors, or customers? For example, employees may be able to use authentication methods such as hardware tokens and biometrics, while customers might rely on in-app mobile pushes or OTPs sent via email, SMS, or phone.
Authentication methods: The buyer must determine the types of authentication methods that will and will not work for their end users. Are there limitations on the types of factors that the employees can use? For example, if employees in a manufacturing facility or healthcare unit cannot carry a mobile phone with them, authentication factors requiring a mobile device may not be suitable.
Licenses needed: Buyers must determine how many licenses are needed for their end users and if there are different license types based on user type.
Business segment or region-specific solution: If someone is looking for software tailored to the small businesses segment versus mid-market or enterprise segments, they have to be clear in their RFP about this. Similarly, if the buyer needs a tool that works well in a specific geographical region or language, they should include it in their RFP.
Integrations: The buyer must determine which integrations are important to their company.
Timeline: The company must decide how quickly they need to implement the solution.
Level of support: Buyers should know if they require high-quality support or if they prefer implementing the solution in house.
Create a long list
There are hundreds of MFA solutions available on the market, which can be daunting to sift through. It is best to narrow the list of potential vendors based on the features that are most important to the organization, such as the type of authentication available to end users.
Buyers can review MFA products on g2.com, where they can search by languages supported, features such as authentication type, and whether the solution is a point solution for MFA or if MFA is a part of a more comprehensive identity product. Once the buyer has narrowed down the product selection, they can save them in the “My List” on g2.com.
Create a short list
After storing the long list of potential MFA products, the list further can be further narrowed down by reading user reviews, checking the product’s ranking on the G2 Grid® report for the Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) software category, and reading usability ratings.
After researching the options, it is time to conduct demos to ask detailed questions of the vendor and ensure it meets particular business needs. Potential buyers can contact many vendors directly on g2.com to request demos by selecting the “Get a quote” button. At each demo, buyers must be sure to ask the same questions and use case scenarios to best evaluate each product.
Choose a selection team
The software selection team should be a handful of people representing different areas of the business. Personas should include the ultimate decision maker, IT or security administrators, and end users. It is important to include at least one end user on the selection team because end-user adoption is critical to the success of this software solution.
When negotiating a contract, typically longer length contracts and larger license counts can improve discounting.
Prior to making a final decision on which tool to purchase, buyers should ask the vendor if they offer a trial period to test with a small number of users before going all in on the product. If the tool is well received by end users and administrators, businesses can feel more confident in their purchase.