Move Beyond Passwords to Multi-Factor Authentication

Protecting devices only with passwords exposes you to greater risk and frustrates users. Verizon’s “2017 Data Breach Investigations Report” revealed that 81% of hacking-related breaches involved stolen or weak passwords. Of the breach victims, 24% represent the financial industry, by far the hardest hit.

Financial industry users also suffer from “password rage” when they either forget a password or have a password request interrupt their workflow. But the more financial data security becomes a concern, the more users are bothered to enter increasingly complex passwords.

Why Multi-Factor Authentication?

The financial industry is leading the way in multi-factor authentication (MFA). Also known as two-factor authentication or 2FA, such entities as the European Banking Authority, the international financial network SWIFT and the Monetary Authority of Singapore already require MFA.

MFA involves two or more layers of authentication, none of which need to be passwords. Devices with integrated MFA features protect financial and customer data and identities while improving the user experience.

How to Implement MFA?

Be careful about using authentication solutions that are not grounded in hardware. Many fingerprint readers or cameras you find in end user devices store the biometric data at the software layer in the OS, leaving them vulnerable to hacking.

With MFA grounded in hardware, it is much harder for malicious code to snoop and capture password data because its located deep in the silicon, isolated from the OS and applications.

MFA Features to Consider

Look for devices with Intel® vPro™ Technology, which includes Intel® Authenticate; this not only helps to enable hardware-level protection, but makes it easier for IT to mix and match identification factors such as the following:

  • Facial Recognition: Infrared (IR) cameras are more secure than regular cameras for facial recognition. In addition, ThinkPad Glance utilizes face-, eye- and gaze-tracking to automatically lock a device if the user is not present.
  • Fingerprints: Lenovo Match on Chip Fingerprint Reader (MoC FPR) stores biometric credentials on a separate chip, making it almost impossible to hack.
  • PIN: Short PIN codes can be used alongside other authentication factors as part of an MFA solution.
  • Consider the following as supplementary MFA factors:
    • Phone Proximity: Users can pair their smartphone with their PC via Bluetooth and securely use the proximity of their phone as an authentication factor.
    • Location: Use location-based services to determine if a user is in an expected location like their office.
Move Beyond Passwords to Multi-Factor Authentication

Biometric authentication technology is utilized in 62% of companies, and an additional 24% plan to utilize it within two years.


  • Lenovo has a range of devices with integrated MFA features like fingerprint readers and IR cameras. By authenticating users through several means, you are making your organization much more secure, and reducing reliance on complex passwords.
  • Lenovo's Match on Chip Fingerprint Reader, available on many ThinkPads, stores biometric credentials on a separate chip, making it harder for malicious code to capture authentication data.
  • ThinkPad Glance utilizes face and eye-tracking to automatically lock and unlock a device based on the presence of the user.