By Zach DeMeyer Posted April 9, 2019
As organizations look to step up their security posture, solutions like two-factor or multi-factor authentication (2FA or MFA) are gaining a lot of popularity. Of course, a major part of deciding on any software addition is price. So, as many search for the right 2FA option, in order to optimize costs, some are asking if there’s a free 2FA solution available.
The Importance of 2FA
First and foremost, we should talk about the value of 2FA. Over the past few years, 2FA has become one of the most critical advancements in identity security. A user that logs in with their username and password now needs to leverage their second factor—usually a time-sensitive pin generated by a smartphone or token—in order to log into a system or service.
This identity and access management (IAM) advancement makes it exponentially more difficult for a user account to be compromised. A hacker now needs to know your user account information and have access to your second factor, usually meaning that they need your time-sensitive, individually generated pin, to successfully breach your account.
Challenges of 2FA
While 2FA is ultimately one of the better options to efficiently increase security, some 2FA users are experiencing hurdles similar to the hackers it prevents. For some, the process of leveraging a secondary credential creates more time and hassle in the workday. Additionally, in order to properly implement organization-wide, end users need to be educated on the intricacies of 2FA.
So, a major consideration when searching for free 2FA is to ensure that the solution will be able to properly graft into an IAM approach, and, ultimately, the organization as a whole. There are a variety of 2FA solutions to choose from, including some that are vendor-dependent. Let’s jump into some of those options.
Of course, major technology providers such as Google®, Apple®, and Microsoft® all recognized that having a second factor added to their services would reduce compromises, and in turn, the work that they needed to do with end users to take back control of their accounts. So, these providers and others offered 2FA on various parts of their solutions for free.
For instance, Google and Microsoft offered their 2FA authenticator options as smartphone apps, which generate the time-sensitive pin codes that users leverage every 30 seconds. Apple has created a seamless 2FA experience for their proprietary solutions that don’t require additional costs or implementation, but they are designed for Apple products.
Enterprise identity management providers began to offer multi-factor authentication solutions as well, but these were quite expensive and required extensive implementation programs. Often, these solutions were tied to applications, ignoring the system, where critical work is done. Further, systems are the conduit to IT resources whether in the cloud or on prem, including AWS® cloud servers, on-prem and cloud file servers, and networks available via VPN and WiFi.
Free 2FA, IAM, and More
The good news is that a next generation cloud identity provider is offering free 2FA to a variety of different solutions, including systems and applications, for up to 10 users. Above 10 users, there is no extra charge for 2FA functionality; it is included in every plan. This 2FA solution is called JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service®.
While it offers sleek 2FA functionality, first and foremost, Directory-as-a-Service (DaaS) is an identity security management solution. That means that, in addition to 2FA, JumpCloud users receive full-fledged user and system management capabilities, as well as True Single Sign-On™ to applications, servers, networks, and more.
If you would like to get your hands on some free 2FA, simply sign up for JumpCloud. Your account will include ten free users with access to the entirety of the JumpCloud platform, forever. You can learn more about Directory-as-a-Service by contacting us or checking out our YouTube channel.