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Synthetic Monitoring
End-user experience
Azure VDI

Monitoring the Impossible - Synthetic Monitoring for 2FA, Virtual Desktops & Windows

Pattern Background

In the recent past, it's evident that most people use mobile apps and the web to access various services. Unlike a few decades ago, a simple touch of a button via mobile devices can complete a financial transaction automatically. Consumers need to create accounts using their credentials and passwords then use these details to complete different actions like making account updates and processing transactions.


Also, with the rising cases of fraud and hacking, industrial regulations require organizations to establish secure authentication mechanisms to protect user accounts and avert such vices. Authentication involves verifying that a specific identity is genuine based on the presented credentials. While you may assume that passwords can sufficiently protect an account, more than 80% of data breaches are due to weak, stolen, or even reused credentials. Therefore, you need to take your security levels a notch higher using multi-factor authentication (MFA) while automating transactions without a poor customer experience. Continue reading for more insights.


What is Multi-Factor Authentication, and Why Use It?

Multi-factor authentication is a process that helps verify users' identities using multiple steps in different methods. MFA protects consumers' accounts by collecting at least two or more of the following credentials:


●     PIN or password

●     Biometric data such as fingerprints

●     A token or mobile phone

Nowadays, MFA has become a gold standard for most customer applications because it's considered close to uncrackable. Keep in mind that passwords aren't 100% reliable in securing users' data. MFA comes in as the second line of defence to prevent hackers from logging into customers' accounts. 


In fact, multi-factor authentication is highly recommended to organizations of all sizes because it can block up to 99% of bleaches. There are several ways that cyber attackers can compromise your users' credentials, such as phishing attacks, brute force attacks, and password reuse.


However, as the use of multi-factor authentication continues to rise, your customers can see it as an excellent security protocol or an unnecessary headache depending on how you implement it. If a user must go through the MFA process every time they log in to the system, it's a secure move and somewhat inconvenient. However, for organizations that choose to hide the MFA within the settings of an application, most of the users may never turn it on, which means they won't enjoy the benefits it offers. You, therefore, need to strike a balance between convenience and security with adaptive authentication in mind.


MFA has Been a Blocker for Synthetic Monitoring

As the use of MFA becomes increasingly inevitable to protect user's sensitive information, it is clear that it also affects customers' user experience. Still, another problem is that synthetic monitoring cannot go hand in hand with actions that require tokens. Yet, you can't introduce Selenium-based synthetic monitoring on any applications that utilize multi-factor authentication. However, the good news is that you can still choose to run synthetic monitoring workloads on applications that use MFA by ditching Selenium. 


The Importance of Good User Experience

While it's essential to utilize multi-factor authentication, customers will still want a good user experience. Even a single bad experience can make a client opt for a different brand despite having quality products or services. In fact, statistics show 86% of customers opt to pay more to get a fantastic user experience. Therefore, if people associate your brand with a poor experience, you will lose more customers. 


Synthetic monitoring facilitates a seamless experience by constantly monitoring applications. You can identify UI bugs, flaws, and any other issues that inhibit an amazing user experience. Sadly Selenium can't handle MFA adequately, which leads to a poor experience in your apps. Even when dev teams create automated workflows on top of Selenium, these solutions no longer work the moment there is an upgrade in the MFA framework. When this happens, dev teams have to try out different codes that can bypass the MFA framework. 


In fact, Selenium recommends that dev teams should not try automating MFA with this technology. Even Selenium themselves admit that trying to automate consistently is a significant challenge. Generally, by adding bypasses, it's adding another layer on top of the Selenium tests. In other words, you should avoid automating two-factor authentication.


2 Steps Enables Synthetic Monitoring in MFA Environments

With top digital organizations such as Microsoft calling for the adoption of MFA to prevent cyberattacks, companies have to learn the best ways to adopt this infrastructure. However, the main concern remains as the inability to monitor apps, making it impossible to deliver the desired user experience. Fortunately, with 2 Steps, you can incorporate synthetic monitoring within the MFA infrastructure.


2 Steps doesn't rely on Selenium, bots, and other types of codes to crawl your app for usability. You can synthetically monitor applications in MFA environments effortlessly. Unlike other platforms that heavily rely on several piles of code and tedious frameworks, 2 Steps is codeless and leverages on the unique combination of image cognition and recognition in collaboration with a world-class GUI. That said, you can use 2 Steps to deliver synthetic monitoring in virtually any environment. This is enough proof that 2 Steps is not just your average synthetic monitoring solution. In a synthetic monitoring test, 2 Steps can automatically forwards MFA codes that are usually sent through SMS and inserts them at the correct point. 


Even better, 2 Steps can still handle Timed One Time Passwords or One-time pins mostly used in sites such as Gmail and AWS. 2 Steps also avails screencast replays for any problems within the system for easier digestion. This synthetic monitoring solution also feeds data into the Splunk dashboard automatically and vice versa.


Are You Ready for an Effortless Synthetic Monitoring Solution?

A frustrating app leads to a bad customer experience, painting a bad picture of your brand. However, when you have valuable and experience-driven applications, you win more customers because they will also refer their friends and family to try out your brand. Still, you enjoy higher production levels among employees. 


2 Steps is an agentless monitoring solution that requires no codes and still works on all environments. Even for businesses using MFA or 2FA, we've got you covered. Book a demo or reach out to us for more details about this new solution.

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