Top Free Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) Software

Check out our list of free Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) Software. Products featured on this list are the ones that offer a free trial version. As with most free versions, there are limitations, typically time or features.

If you'd like to see more products and to evaluate additional feature options, compare all Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) Software to ensure you get the right product.

Top 10 Free Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) Software in 2021

  • LastPass
  • Duo Security
  • Ping Identity
  • Idaptive Next-Gen Access
  • Auth0
  • OneLogin
  • AuthPoint Multi-Factor Authentication
  • Azure
  • AuthN by IDEE
  • GateKeeper Proximity Authentication

View Free Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) Software

G2 takes pride in showing unbiased reviews on user satisfaction in our ratings and reports. We do not allow paid placements in any of our ratings, rankings, or reports. Learn about our scoring methodologies.
(761)4.4 out of 5
Optimized for quick response
Entry Level Price:$4 / user / month

LastPass business solutions help teams & businesses take control of their identity management. LastPass provides simple control and unified visibility across every entry point to your business, with an intuitive access and multifactor authentication experience that works on everything from cloud and mobile apps to legacy on-premise tools. From single sign-on (SSO) and password management to adaptive multifactor authentication (MFA), LastPass Identity gives superior control to IT and friction

FS
The idea to have a secured app helping me manage my passwords. I use it to share securely some passwords to my family. It's completely integrated... Read review
Sara B.
SB
It's really simple to exchange passwords. I usually store the passwords of mine within Chrome, but since I discovered the previous password, I keep... Read review
(193)4.4 out of 5
Entry Level Price:Free

Duo Security's frictionless Trusted Access platform protects users, data and applications from malicious hackers and data breaches. Our mission is to protect your mission. Duo Security makes security painless, so you can focus on what's important. Our scalable, cloud-based Trusted Access platform addresses security threats before they become a problem. We do this by verifying the identity of your users and the health of their devices before they connect to the apps you want them to access.

Ana D.
AD
The app is free and it allows you to have various methods of contact when it comes to getting a hold of you Read review
UM
Its hassle-free two factor authentication system by tapping a button on your phone. Read review
(92)4.4 out of 5
Entry Level Price:$3 Per User Per Month

Ping Identity (NYSE: PING) builds identity security for the global enterprise with an intelligent identity platform that offers comprehensive capabilities including single sign-on (SSO), multi-factor authentication (MFA), directory and more. Ping helps enterprises balance security and user experience for workforce, customer and partner identity types with a variety of cloud deployment options including identity-as-a-service (IDaaS), containerized software and more. Ping has solutions for both IT

JL
The best part of using Ping products is the time to deploy. We were able to download a version of Ping Federate and have it working by EOD. The... Read review
Dan J.
DJ
Support for their products is amazing. Break/fix tickets get the utmost attention with their support team but even when I just needed some guidance... Read review
(94)4.4 out of 5
Entry Level Price:$5 User/Month

Idaptive Services secures enterprise identities against cyberthreats that target today’s hybrid IT environment of cloud, mobile and on-premises. Idaptive helps protect against the leading point of attack used in data breaches ― compromised credentials — through it’s Next Gen Access, which uniquely unifies single single-on (SSO), adaptive multi-factor authentication (MFA), enterprise mobility management (EMM) and user behavior analytics (UBA) into an integrated solution. Idaptive Services incl

Jacob T.
JT
Works more or less as expected. Had an implementation meeting and got mostly set up Read review
AF
Easy to set up, easy integration with AD, a great user experience. Read review
(137)4.5 out of 5
Optimized for quick response
Entry Level Price:Free -

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

AB
How easy to get started, and the customization options. Read review
Akash M.
AM
AWESOME UI graphics uses and really good page formatting Read review
(191)4.3 out of 5
Optimized for quick response
Entry Level Price:$4 /User /Month

OneLogin simplifies identity management with secure, one-click access, for employees, customers and partners, through all device types, to all enterprise cloud and on-premises applications. OneLogin enables IT identity policy enforcement and instantly disables app access for employees who leave or change roles in real-time by removing them from Active Directory. Take control over application access, quickly on- and off-board team members, and provide end-users with easy access to all their appli

Jason S.
JS
Onelogin's ability to smoothly deploy apps and troubleshoot issues is a great asset. Read review
AC
Using OneLogin makes IM simple and easy. It creates accounts in seconds and allows for user account deployment in minutes. All in all, it makes IM... Read review
(72)4.3 out of 5
Optimized for quick response

WatchGuard's AuthPoint is an easy-to-use multi-factor authentication (MFA) service that helps companies keep their assets, information, and user identities secure. AuthPoint’s mobile app makes it easy for users to approve or deny login attempts with just a single touch right from their smartphone. AuthPoint is a Cloud service, so there’s no expensive hardware to deploy, and it can be managed from anywhere using WatchGuard Cloud’s intuitive interface.

Don G.
DG
Its easier and faster to login now than it is 'manually'. The app is super simple - just click 'approve' and you are logged in. It has always... Read review
AF
Setting up users in Authpoint is quick and easy. The activation process for the end user is relatively pain free. Read review
(18)4.1 out of 5
Entry Level Price:$1.40 per month

Azure Multi-Factor Authentication reduces organizational risk and helps enable regulatory compliance by providing an extra level of authentication, in addition to a user’s account credentials, to secure employee, customer, and partner access.

AG
Simple, fast deployment. In my case I was able to install on two servers for redundancy, import desired users from AD, and point my VPN servers at... Read review
AI
I like the ability to implement MFA with Office 365. This empowers us to provide a second login to our 365 services using a number of different... Read review
(10)4.5 out of 5

AuthN™ is an award-winning, truly password-less multi-factor authentication solution that allows organizations to enable secure, convenient, and private authentication to any application or service without ever using passwords.

Max A.
MA
Great onboarding support, easy integration into existing applications Read review
UI
Secured Passwordless Authentication to access your applications. Read review
(8)5.0 out of 5
Entry Level Price:$3 /user/month

Login with your presence instead of passwords. Touchless, wireless, login to PCs, website, and software. Continuous authentication is stronger than traditional one-time 2FA login solutions. No more typing passwords - experience walking up to a PC and all your passwords auto-filling everywhere. Then when you walk away, the PC locks. Passwordless proximity login for everyone.

Robert N.
RN
Quality of product, reliability, customer service, all excellent. Honestly, I could not have had a better experience. Specifically, the fact that... Read review
(4)4.6 out of 5

Boku Authenticate will protect you against account takeovers (ATOs) that target your customer’s phone number by streamlining your methods for verifying mobile number possession. Instead of sending one-time passcodes (OTPs) that can be stolen or forcing users to implement complicated app based solutions, Boku Authenticate will verify mobile number possession directly on the device by using its built-in connectivity to the mobile operators’ wireless network. The solution is both seamless and secur

DA
Easy to integrate, use, very cost-effective Read review
(12)3.8 out of 5
Entry Level Price:$1.87 / user, per month

IBM Security Verify, formerly Cloud Identity, helps organizations infuse identity as a central pillar of a zero trust strategy to provide both a frictionless and secure experience for every user. Verify delivers a modernized, modular IAM platform that leverages unparalleled context for decisions about who should be able to access what, with AI-powered, risk-based authentication. It takes a highly consumable, API-first approach with a robust, guided developer experience to fit custom needs, while

UE
If I had to say one positive is the price point. It’s cheap because it’s not the best program out there for what you need it to do. Read review
UP
Aside from the inexpensive price point, this product makes identity verification simple and easy to use. Read review
(2)4.0 out of 5
Entry Level Price:Free

Rublon enables your workforce to securely access your organization's networks, servers and applications. Protect your data via easy-to-use multi-factor authentication and comply with data protection regulations like GDPR. Deploy Rublon organization-wide, enabling MFA for all your cloud apps, VPNs, servers, workstations, internal as well as on-premise apps.

MF
I love the interface and ease of use; it really is setup as a plug-n-play solution. Read review
DB
The admin console is a nice feature. It acts as a central location to add and remove users requiring two factor authentication on multiple sites.... Read review
(3)4.5 out of 5

Secure Active Directory user logins with two-factor authentication, contextual access controls and real-time monitoring and reporting. UserLock helps administrators to manage and secure access for every user, without obstructing employees or frustrating IT. Powerful protection for all Windows logins, RDP, VPN and IIS sessions, even when credentials are compromised.

UH
This was an important resource for our company, especially in order to protect many confidential files and information. Read review
AL
UserLock is a very simple and self-explanatory software. Once set up, it does its job without having to change anything. I have tested several... Read review
(6)4.5 out of 5

FusionAuth provides enterprise-ready auth, registration, login, MFA, SSO, user management and more. 100% free for unlimited users. Built for developers, it installs in minutes for any size web or mobile application from start-up to unicorn to enterprise. FusionAuth provides secure, single-tenant, on-prem or private cloud identity with social login, custom emails with localization, customizable registration branding, group-based authentication and more. Deploys on macOS, Linux, Windows, and cloud

Fernando Martín B.
FB
The simple way to implement Social Login using different platforms. The fact that it is FREE. A very helpful community helping each other. Active... Read review
Mauro V.
MV
The product is functional, simple to install, well documented, and if something goes wrong the support is excellent. Read review
(1)5.0 out of 5
Entry Level Price:$0 1500 LOG INS NA

PixelPin is a non-biometric, non-password, software solution that enables users to login using a personal picture and selecting 4 points in a sequence on the image. PixelPin’s innovative solution uses a picture instead of a PIN or password to log in. Upon successful integration, it can be used to log in to any application or system, and works on any device using a touch screen or mouse. The users upload one of their favourite pictures, choose four points on it and that will be their login. Simpl

Hazel B.
HB
Remembering passwords is sometimes hard because many software and websites require logins in order to access them which means having to maintain... Read review
(1)4.0 out of 5

Routee is a cloud based communication solution that allows Marketers and Software Developers generate leads with lower digital costs and improved ROI. Services available are: - SMS - Email - Voice - Phone Numbers - Validation/Authentication - IVR - Push Notifications - Messaging Apps

UA
Service quality is decent. Customer support is responsive and the services are reasonably priced. Variety of features. Read review

TeleSign connects and protects online experiences with sophisticated customer identity and engagement solutions. Through APIs that deliver user verification, data insights, and communications we solve today’s unique customer challenges by bridging your business to the complex world of global telecommunications.

SP
This is a messaging system which has its own security system within the messaging system in which any organization can use. Read review
(1)5.0 out of 5

HelloID is Tools4ever’s cloud-based Identity and Access Management solution that provides user account provisioning, self-service workflows, and single sign-on. With HelloID, your organization can ensure efficient and secure user management, simplified access to resources, and compliance to industry-specific laws and regulations, all while reducing the manual time-consuming tasks from your IT department.

RW
Hello ID has allowed our staff and students to maintain a single sign on experiance across many different systems that they utilize. HelloID... Read review
0 ratings

HYPR is the Passwordless Company backed by Comcast, Samsung, and Mastercard. Passwords and shared secrets remain the #1 cause of breaches despite billions of dollars invested in cyber security. The HYPR Cloud Platform makes it easy to go Passwordless across the enterprise by combining the security of a smart card with the convenience of a smartphone. With HYPR, businesses are finally able to solve the desktop MFA gap, eliminate customer passwords, and deliver lightning-fast login experiences th

0 ratings

InstaSafe Technologies is a trusted cloud-based security solutions provider that offers Zero Trust Architecture based Privileged Access Management solutions, as well as crowdsourced vulnerability discovery services to keep enterprises secure. InstaSafe leverages the cloud to allow enteprises to extend secure application access to their workforce, irrespective of their location InstaSafe’s mission is to make the internet safe and make the world more open and connected. Recognising the lacunae i

0 ratings

LoginTC is a simple, secure 2-Factor Authentication solution.

(23)4.3 out of 5
Optimized for quick response
Entry Level Price:$1 user/month

Password-related breaches are the leading cause of data loss. Protect your company data by ensuring that only authorized people are given secure access to sensitive applications and information, using Kaseya’s complete and integrated Identity and Access Management (IAM) solution. Combining the power of multi-factor authentication and the efficiency of single sign-on, AuthAnvil provides confidence in knowing that your most vulnerable data is secure 100% of the time.

Chris C.
CC
I like the easy to use interface and compatibility with both PC and mobile devices. I can have my soft token on my phone which is always with me. ... Read review
AL
Simple & easy to understand. New IT employee's can manage tokens without needing training Read review

Powertech Multi-Factor Authentication is designed to simplify identity and access management through centralized administration and an intuitive self-service portal, allowing users to secure their system without burdening their IT staff.

0 ratings

We are a security authentication platform offering various methods of two factor authentication for enterprises and developers. We offer both FREE and paid solutions. Our products are super simple to integrate and we have a wide range of solutions for you to work with. Visit www.twizo.com/products/verification for a full breakdown of the features available via all of the below services. * Twizo Authenticator * Messaging Clients * Bio Voice * SMS * Voice Call * Backup Codes * Widget We

0 ratings

TWOSENSE.AI is Continuous Authentication software designed to increase security and reduce multi-factor authentication challenges your employees encounter. Using behavioral biometrics (aka the way you use your computer), TWOSENSE.AI is able to invisibly authenticate users before being prompted with a two-factor login or single-sign on workflow. As a lightweight browser extension or desktop application, the product integrates with your current login workflows and IAM/SSO tools like Okta, Thycoti

Learn More About Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) Software

What You Should Know About Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) Software

What is Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) Software?

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.

What Types of Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) Software Exist?

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.

What are the Common Features of Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) 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.

What are the Benefits of Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) Software?

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.

Who Uses Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) Software?

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.

Software Related to Multi-Factor Authentication (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).

Challenges with Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) Software

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.

Which Companies Should Buy Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) Software?

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.

How to Buy Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) Software

Requirements Gathering (RFI/RFP) for Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) Software

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.

Compare Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) Software Products

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.

Conduct demos

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. 

Selection of Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) Software

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.

Negotiation

When negotiating a contract, typically longer length contracts and larger license counts can improve discounting. 

Final decision

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.