5 Ways to Balance Strong Authentication Protocols and User Productivity

5 Ways to Balance Strong Authentication Protocols and User Productivity


Finding the right balance between productivity and security can be quite the challenge for most businesses. If you provide too much freedom within your network, security risks rise. However, if there too many security restrictions, productivity will suffer. Here are 5 ways to balance strong authentication protocols and user productivity.

It’s always a fine line trying to balance the two, but balance is possible. Businesses need to realize it’s not about sacrificing one for the other.

Microsoft recently came out with a study highlighting the dangerous lack of authentication security. The MFA was only enabled in about 22% of Azure Active Directory users. This indicated more than 75% are vulnerable to an account breach.

The question is, why do businesses avoid implementing such a crucial security measure like MFA? It is common knowledge that it will prevent 99% of all fraudulent sign-ins But so many businesses aren’t using it.

A big reason is user inconvenience. MFA is not expensive to have, and often times cloud software offers it for free. But if employees complain that it’s difficult to use and reduces productivity, a business is less likely to invest in it.

However, sacrificing on security can overall make productivity worse. A data breaches are costly and can often put smaller companies out of business. The main cause of a data breach is a credential compromise. So, if you don’t secure your authentication process, you’re more likely to fall victim to a breach.

It’s totally possible to have users who are both productive and secure. Adopting some helpful solutions is all that is necessary. Use tools that improve authentication security while also prioritizing user convenience.

Solutions That Increase Security Without Compromising Convenience

Use Contextual Authentication Rules

Different users don’t need to go through the same authentication process. Someone has a certain level of trust if they are doing work from your building. They do not have the same level of trust as someone who is trying to log in from outside the country.

With MFA, contextual authentication is utilized to target users who must pass a higher standard. You can decide to restrict or disallow anyone trying to log in from a certain area access to the system. Alternatively, you might need to include a second challenge question for users who log in outside of business hours.

Businesses do not need to inconvenience employees who work from normal locations and during regular business hours. However, they can still check who is logging in in unusual cases. Contextual elements that you might use include:

  • Time of day
  • Location
  • Device in use
  • Time of last login

Install an SSO (Single Sign-On) Solution

In the U.S. employees tend to use a lot of apps for work. They will switch between an average of 13-30 apps per day. That’s a lot of inconvenience if you have to complete MFA each time.

Single Sign-On software offers a solution to this issue. They combine multiple app authentication processes into a single sign on. Employees just need to go through MFA once after logging in.

SSO solutions help companies improve their security without all the pushback from users.

Device Recognition

Recognize Devices is another technique to increase security in network access. Usually, an endpoint device manager is used for this. It automates a portion of the user authentication security. As a result, it doesn’t inconvenience a person.

In the endpoint device manager, first register employee devices. Once complete, you can establish security guidelines. Such as automatically disabling unfamiliar devices.

Additionally, you may set up automatic updates and virus detection on your device. Both of these actions boost security without reducing efficiency.

Consider Biometrics

One of the best and most convenient forms of authentication is biometrics. Which would be either a face, retina or fingerprint scan. The user wouldn’t have to type a thing and it take seconds.

The only obstacle to this solution is the cost. Biometrics can be quite expensive depending on the size of your business. But you can add it over time. Working your way from executives down.

Now a days, a lot of apps already offer a biometric solutions, especially in smartphones. Making it a more affordable solution.

Need Help Setting Up Security Authentication?

Don’t give up important security because you’re afraid of user pushback. Now that you’ve checked out 5 ways to balance strong authentication protocols and user productivity, it’s time to implement. Give us a call and schedule a security consultation.


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