• Jack O'Neill

To NIST Compliance and Beyond

Future Proofing Multi-Factor Authentication With Biometrics


In our last blog, we discussed how critical integration is to achieving NIST compliance (and keeping your sanity intact). This week, I want to focus on another NIST requirement that is often not given the attention and consideration it deserves: multi-factor authentication.


Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is an incredibly important practice for any organization, but for government contractors and subcontractors it is required for network access of any kind. There are many MFA tools available today and oftentimes we see businesses purchase a solution that just barely meets their requirements, not considering that this decision could haunt them in the (very) near future.


There is nothing worse than going through the whole rigmarole of researching, evaluating, and implementing a solution just to find out a year or two later that it's no longer up to snuff. Investing in biometric authentication not only delivers more secure user verification for network access control but also allows your organization to exceed current NIST requirements, saving you a major headache in the long run.


The Future of Authentication

Biometric authentication is not a new concept. I know I personally use it countless times each day to unlock my iPhone, make an in-app purchase, or log in to my online banking portal. It doesn’t take a fortune teller to see that this is the way the market is heading. In fact, the FBI has been warning businesses since September of 2019 about the risks associated with traditional MFA solutions and advise on using more stringent authentication methods, including biometrics.


Traditional MFA solutions can be beaten with common technical attacks or social engineering. With biometrics, you are verifying the actual user and not just the user’s device.


Ditch The Band-Aid Solutions

After jumping through so many other NIST compliance hoops, it is understandable that you would be tempted to settle for a solution that simply checks a box. As some of my younger colleagues would say, that’s a problem for “future you”. But why delay the inevitable? As long as cybercriminals exist, security requirements will only get more demanding and rigorous.


By taking a proactive approach with a biometric MFA, you’re doing much more than just saving time for future projects. You’re enhancing the company culture by providing a better user experience for authentication and enabling your organization to continue to support a remote workforce. You’re also setting the stage for enabling Zero Trust Security, a strategy that is rapidly evolving from an idealistic marketing term to a trusted methodology for securing the enterprise.


To learn more about how SOFTwarfare can help you exceed NIST MFA requirements to futureproof your security strategy, please visit: https://www.softwarfare.com/government-nist-solutions


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