White Paper

Multi-Factor Authentication for IBM i

How multi-factor authentication works and how Precisely’s security solutions for IBM i can help

The basic IBM i policies that served in years past are no longer sufficient. Security breaches caused by passwords stored in unsecured locations, guessed passwords, or brute-force password attacks have compelled IT shops to implement stronger password management controls. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is a powerful technology for protecting sensitive data from being accessed by external and internal actors with bad intentions, and there are numerous approaches and features to consider when choosing a MFA solution that’s best for your organization.

How Multi-Factor Authentication Works

MFA requires a user to authenticate with at least two different pieces of evidence (beyond a user name) that prove one’s identity. In order to qualify as MFA, these pieces of evidence must come from two of the following three categories, known as authentication factors:

  • Something the user knows (e.g.: password, PIN, passphrase)
  • Something the user possesses (e.g.: email account, smartphone, code-generating device)
  • Something inherent to the user (e.g.: fingerprint, iris scan, voice recognition)

It is also important to emphasize that a second use of the same authentication factor doesn’t constitute MFA. In other words, having users provide the answer to a security question or enter a PIN once their password is validated only amounts to single-factor authentication because the user is providing two forms of the same type of authentication factor: something they know. To be true MFA, a user must provide two or more of the different authentication factors that were just mentioned—for instance, something the user knows (such as a password) and something the user possesses (such a code delivered thorough their smartphone).

Download this white paper to learn more about current regulations that require or recommend Multi-Factor Authentication, how MFA works, the varied authentication mechanisms available and how Precisely’s end-to-end security solutions for IBM i can address your MFA needs today.

multi-factor authentication