Ryan Stickel

By: Ryan Stickel on October 26th, 2022

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Why Your MSP Should Manage Your Multi-Factor Authentication


Our day-to-day work lives can be pretty busy. The last thing we want is for it to be more difficult to log into our computers. While some might view multi-factor authentication as necessary evil, its implementation can be made easier by working with your managed service provider.

What is MFA?

Multi-factor authentication is a security tool that requires you to verify your identity in addition to logging in with your credentials.

Managed MFA

There are plenty of free options when it comes to MFA, but those options will only be successful if they are correctly configured, implemented and managed. The free options can be extremely time-consuming and require a lot of upkeep.

Free MFA services are perfectly fine for personal use and will go a long way toward protecting you, but for your business, Innovative recommends managed MFA. 

In full disclosure, this is a service Innovative offers to our managed IT clients. So we have some clear bias. But if we're your IT partner, and you're using MFA, you expect us to troubleshoot MFA with your end users. When you use free MFA solutions users deploy and configure on their own, there's very little, if anything we can do to troubleshoot an MFA issue. 

Challenges of Self-Administering MFA

Having everyone create a free account will make MFA in your workplace like the wild west. Everyone on their own accounts with their own devices is a recipe for disaster.

Let’s say an employee has their own MFA application to use for work. If they come into work one day to find their MFA application has an issue and isn’t working, there really isn’t much your company or Innovative can do to fix it.

Maybe the employee got a new phone, and the MFA application isn't working. Because that’s their personal application, we can't troubleshoot from an administrative level.

Long story short, you want to own and manage MFA applications for your users.

Power Struggle Between IT and Leadership

Even with a dedicated IT person on staff, MFA is challenging for internal IT people to manage.

MFA is often seen as an inconvenience. Good implementation and administration can minimize the inconvenience, but MFA is bound to create some level of frustration among end users ranging from minor annoyance to total red-faced frustration.

When a busy end user, especially a CEO or business owner, is frustrated with the extra few seconds MFA can take, it can create conflicts in the workplace. If you have someone in leadership who doesn’t like the idea of MFA, but the person in charge of IT knows it’s necessary for security, that can create a difficult power struggle.

Even in a healthy work environment, pushing back against your boss is hard. Having an MSP manage something like MFA eliminates that struggle. It’s an MSP’s job and responsibility to let that reluctant boss know that MFA is a crucial security measure, eliminating the conflict between a CEO and IT.

We Practice What We Preach

Here at Innovative, we practice what we preach. Everyone who works here uses MFA. We’re not here to sell you a service we don’t believe in. This is an important security measure that, when used correctly, can prevent countless attacks. No more pushing it off and evading it- MFA is here to stay.

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