Seattle network security specialist WatchGuard Technologies has unveiled a new cloud-based multi-factor authentication offering – dubbed AuthPoint – aimed at small and midsize businesses.

The firm said previously, MFA options had generally been out of reach for SMBs due to cost, complexity and management issues – citing research that found 61 percent of respondents from companies with under 1,000 employees believed MFA services were reserved for large enterprises.

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“We know that a massive portion of data breaches involve lost credentials, and since cyber criminals target organisations of any size, MFA is now a prerequisite for all businesses,” said Alex Cagnoni, director of Authentication at WatchGuard. “In the absence of MFA, cyber criminals can utilize a variety of techniques to acquire usernames and passwords, such as spear phishing, social engineering, and buying stolen credentials on the dark web, to gain network access and then steal valuable company and customer data. With AuthPoint, we’re breaking down longstanding barriers between SMBs and MFA adoption with a solution that is affordable, easy to deploy, and vastly scalable.”

The AuthPoint offering is a cloud service that can be rolled out and managed from any location, and relies on the firm’s AuthPoint app to process user authentication. Key features include:

AuthPoint App – Once downloaded and activated on a user’s smartphone, an app enables users to view and manage login attempts – by way of push notifications, one-time passwords or QR code entries for those offline. Additionally, the app is equipped to store third-party authenticators such as Google Authenticator, Facebook access, Dropbox

Mobile Device DNA – WatchGuard uses an innovative user authentication feature called Mobile Device DNA that distinguishes cloned login attempts from legitimate ones. The app creates personalized ‘DNA” signatures for users’ devices and adds them to the authentication calculation, with messages not originating from a legitimate user’s phone being rejected.

Third-Party Integrations – WatchGuard’s ecosystem includes a range of 3rd party integrations with AuthPoint, allowing companies to mandate that users undergo the authentication process before accessing sensitive cloud applications, VPNs and networks. AuthPoint also supports the SAML standard, offering users  access to a full range of applications and services.