What is adaptive multifactor authentication, and what are its benefits for your business?

What is adaptive multifactor authentication, and what are its benefits for your business?

Passwords alone are no longer sufficient in protecting online accounts from sophisticated cyberattacks. This is why businesses are using multifactor authentication (MFA). MFA requires users to provide two or more proofs of their identity, such as a one-time passcode (OTP) sent to the account owner’s smartphone, or a facial or fingerprint scan. This way, even if a cybercriminal acquires a user’s password, they won’t be able to access the account.

However, because MFA requires users to provide multiple login credentials, signing into an account can be extremely tedious for users. To make access to systems and applications more user-friendly without compromising security, you need to implement adapative multifactor authentication (AMFA).

What is AMFA?

AMFA uses business rules and contextual information to determine which authentication factors to apply to a particular user.

How does AMFA work?

AMFA works by setting security conditions and actions based on the following factors:

  • Account type
  • User’s physical location
  • Physical distance between login attempts
  • Device type
  • Day of the week/time of day
  • Operating system
  • IP address
  • User role

Whenever users attempt to log in, their request is evaluated and assigned a risk score. Depending on this, the user may need to provide additional authentication factors to prove their identity. For instance, if a user attempts to access an application using an unregistered device, they may be prompted to enter an OTP. If the user logs in from a location aside from their office, they may be asked to answer a security question.

What are the benefits of implementing AMFA?

Using AMFA provides your company with various benefits, such as:

  • Enhanced data security: Using adaptive authentication decreases the risk of unauthorized users gaining access to corporate information.
  • Increased productivity: Because AMFA only prompts for authentication when needed, users don't have to waste time providing multiple login credentials several times.
  • Reduced IT costs: By using AMFA, you’ll record fewer suspicious activities on user accounts, so you’ll spend less money on IT security management.

What are some use cases of AMFA?

There are various situations where AMFA is absolutely essential for businesses. Here are two use cases for AMFA:

Remote work

Let’s say one of your IT employees remotely accesses applications hosted in your data center. Sometimes, they work from home using a trusted computer and broadband connection. Other times, they access your network while traveling using a laptop and an unknown Wi-Fi connection.

The first time the employee signs in from home, they will be asked to enter their username and password, as well as an OTP. Once these are provided, trust is established. In the future, the employee can sign in from home using only their username and password.

But if remote employees are traveling or accessing applications using a different device or network, they may be required to provide additional forms of identification. This way, the employee enjoys convenient access when working from home, with the added protection of AMFA when working on the go.


In a healthcare scenario, doctors and nurses use shared hospital room computers to access electronic patient records and other systems. At the beginning of their shift, an employee needs to log in and tap their proximity badge. For the remainder of their shift, they only need to use their proximity badge to prove their identity, allowing them to quickly access the applications they need while maintaining security levels.

Need to learn more about the best authentication solutions for your business? Talk to us at Founders Technology Group. By partnering with us, we will also provide around-the-clock network monitoring to detect and resolve threats before they disrupt your business. Book your complimentary IT consultation today.