Understanding the total cost of multi-factor authentication solutions

With technology constantly evolving, many organizations are choosing to deploy multi-factor authentication solutions rather than two-factor authentication solutions because of the increased protection it provides their business. Multi-factor authentication requires users to authenticate themselves with something that they have (e.g. a mobile device), something that they know (e.g. a PIN) and something that they are (e.g. a fingerprint). This, however, raises the question: how much does this actually cost a business?

Of course, there are the upfront costs such as licenses, software and hardware as well as costs related to securing expert services (be they in the form of an outside servicing company/consultant or in the form of internally-devoted resources or both). This also includes training costs, temporary reduced productivity from staff while adjusting to the new system and temporary increased help desk costs.  What many, however, forget about are other costs that are included in the total cost of ownership. The single largest of these other costs is maintenance renewal, which can be very expensive and is often overlooked during the initial proof-of-concept phase. Businesses also need to be wary that the two temporary upfront costs don’t become more permanent.

Overall, businesses, in their rush to update their security and adopt the latest new technology, need to be careful to weigh the benefits of the solution they are being proposed against the total costs of ownership and not just against the upfront costs of implementation.