What's the difference between 365 and 3rd Party Solutions?

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) has become an essential tool in the fight against cyber fraud. As businesses increasingly rely on digital platforms to store sensitive data and perform crucial operations, the need for stronger security measures has become more pressing than ever. MFA offers an additional layer of security by requiring multiple forms of authentication before granting access to an account or system.  

Many organisations struggle to choose the right MFA solution with many wondering if the built-in MFA in Microsoft 365 is enough or if third-party solutions are necessary. In this article, we will explore the differences between the two and the importance of MFA in combating fraud.

Let’s talk Microsoft 365…

Microsoft 365 offers a built-in MFA feature, which provides an additional layer of security to user accounts. This feature works by requiring the user to provide two or more authentication factors, such as a password and a verification code sent to their phone, before granting access to their account. While this is a great feature to have, it may not always be enough. For example, if an attacker gains access to a user’s phone, they can still bypass the MFA and gain access to the account or, if an attacker mimics a site requiring an MFA code and the user inadvertently enters it, they can also gain access.

Let’s talk 3rd Party Solutions…

This is where third-party MFA solutions come into play. Third-party solutions can provide additional features, such as biometric authentication, that are not available in Microsoft 365’s built-in MFA. Biometric authentication uses unique physical features, such as fingerprints or facial recognition to authenticate users. This provides an extra layer of security, as it is nearly impossible for an attacker to replicate a user’s biometric data. 

It should be noted though that not all businesses need third-party MFA solutions. Small businesses with limited resources may find that the built-in MFA in Microsoft 365 is sufficient for their needs. On the other hand, larger enterprises with more complex security needs may require third-party solutions to meet their specific security requirements and/or integrate additional applications into a single sign on solution.

Regardless of the solution chosen, the importance of MFA in combating fraud cannot be overstated. MFA makes it much more difficult for cybercriminals to gain unauthorised access to user accounts, as they would need to have access to multiple authentication factors. This greatly reduces the risk of data breaches, which can be catastrophic for businesses. Additionally, MFA can provide a sense of security to customers and clients, which can help to build trust in the business. 

The decision between using Microsoft 365’s built-in MFA or third-party MFA solutions depends on the specific needs of the business. While third-party solutions may offer additional features, the built-in MFA in Microsoft 365 is sufficient for many small businesses. Regardless of the solution chosen, MFA is a crucial tool in combating fraud and ensuring the security of sensitive data. By implementing MFA, businesses can greatly reduce the risk of cyber-attacks and data breaches, while providing a sense of security to their customers and clients.