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Comparing the Total Cost of Ownership of Two-Factor Authentication Solutions

It’s much easier to steal a password than figure out how to break into a company’s networks. Attackers have figured this out, and despite reports of many weak and default passwords used in recent data breaches, we continue to use only passwords to protect our accounts.

This year’s Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) found that over 95 percent of security incidents involve harvesting credentials from customer devices, then logging into web applications with them. Some companies are starting to catch on, implementing two-factor authentication after experiencing a breach.

But not every two-factor solution is designed the same - some can take months or even years to fully deploy for a company with many users. Some have a high authentication failure rate, frustrating your users and administrators alike. And some incur much higher costs than others - from building the initial supporting infrastructure to resources needed to maintain it, not to mention layers of hidden costs.

Check out our comparison of modern two-factor authentication solutions vs. older, traditional solutions (ones built for a client-server computing model) - click to view larger:

Total Cost of Ownership of Two-Factor Authentication

The total cost of ownership (TCO) of a solution includes all direct and indirect costs of owning a product – for a two-factor solution, that may include hidden costs, such as upfront, capital, licensing, support, maintenance, operating and many other unforeseen expenses over time.

How can you be sure you’re getting the best security return on your investment? Consider:

Upfront Costs

You’re paying upfront, but are the expenses actually necessary? Many of these costs reflect a two-factor solution stuck in the past, requiring physical hardware to run.

  • Administrative Software/Hardware
  • Authenticators
  • Data Center Costs
  • High Availability Configuration

Deployment Fees

Consider what kind of resources you need to deploy your solution - including hours of IT staff time and support, which can add up and take time away from other projects.

  • Deployment & Configuration
  • End User Enrollment
  • Administrator Support

Ongoing Costs

Some solutions only provide patches and updates every six months, leaving them vulnerable to known exploits. Newer, cloud-based solutions are able to roll out automatic upgrades weekly.

  • Patches, Maintenance & Upgrades
  • Administrative Maintenance
  • Support & Help Desk

For more detail on the total cost of ownership (TCO) and other criteria you should consider when evaluating a two-factor authentication solution, download our newly updated Two-Factor Authentication Evaluation Guide.

Two-Factor Authentication Evaluation Guide

Two-Factor Authentication Evaluation Guide This guide walks through some of the key areas of differentiation between two-factor authentication solutions and provides some concrete criteria for evaluating technologies and vendors.

In this guide, you will learn how to evaluate a solution based on:

  • Security - Does your solution reduce risks, and can it provide visibility into your environment?
  • Strategic Business Initiatives - Does your solution support cloud, mobile and BYOD initiatives? And can it fulfill compliance?
  • Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) - Does your solution provide more upfront value, or more hidden costs?
  • Time to Value - Determine how long it takes to implement, deploy or adapt to the solution.
  • Resources Required - Determine what kind of resources it’ll take to deploy and provision your users.

Download our free guide today for a deep-dive into evaluating a modern two-factor authentication solution that can meet your organization's security needs.