10 obstacles you need to consider when automating past MFA.
Automating repetitive tasks on the web can save your business time and money while enabling your human capital to focus on more strategic tasks. However, as websites beef up their security posture by implementing Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) this security feature can be a hindrance to your automation objectives. If you’re automating behind logins with MFA, you’ll need to ensure you have solutions for the following 10 obstacles.
You’ll need a place for your One-Time Passcodes (OTP) to go, so you’ll have to set up an email inbox to capture OTP email forwards. Further, if you’ll be forwarding these emails to an outside domain you’ll have to make sure your email system is configured to accommodate forwarding from one outside domain to another outside domain.
2. Spam Filters
If you’re not receiving OTP codes you’ll need to check your spam filter. Email spam filters may automatically block emails from the websites sending you OTP codes. If this is the case you’ll have to adjust your email system spam filter accordingly.
3. Non-Email MFA (SMS or Authenticator Apps)
To further bolster security, more-and-more websites are moving away from email and require SMS or Authenticator Apps (e.g. Auth, Duo, Google Authenticator, etc) for MFA. You’ll need a solution that can capture and resolve these methods of MFA in an automated fashion.
4. Identifying OTP Codes
For security purposes, OTP codes are generally sent without referencing a specific login. This can make it difficult to correlate OTP codes with their associated logins while you’re running concurrent automations. You’ll need a solution to ensure you can properly correlate OTP codes with their respective logins.
5. OTP Delays and Failures
Due to various system issues, OTP codes don’t always arrive in the same order as you requested them, or in some instances, they don't at all. This means you’ll not only need a solution to properly correlate OTP codes with their respective logins but also automatically reattempt the OTP process if the correct passcode cannot be identified or never arrived.
6. Inbox Noise
Often the same email address that receives OTP codes will also receive various other automated emails such as confirmations, notices and marketing messages, and/or other manual email communication. You’ll need a solution to sift through this email noise and hone in on the correct OTP codes.
7. Email Purging
Data security is critical and since the same email addresses that receive OTP codes will likely receive various other emails, which may contain sensitive data and high volumes of data, it is critical that you are permanently purging your OTP inbox frequently to avoid accidental data leaks or a full email inbox.
8. Scaling Automated OTP Resolution
As your automation volume grows, you will likely run into email throttling by your email provider and increased difficulty in associating OTPs to the proper login. You’ll need a solution to ensure high automation volume doesn’t break your automated OTP resolution process.
9. OTP Code Extraction from Emails
Extracting the correct code from an email also presents its own challenges such as other sequences of numbers throughout the email body, layered multipart email format, base64 content-encoding, or even embedding the code in an image. You’ll need a solution to ensure you can extract the OTP code accurately in these scenarios.
10. Minimizing OTPs
Similar to your experience accessing websites manually, OTPs generally don’t present themselves on every login unless they have been configured to do so. However, if your login looks suspicious: like it comes from a bot, or like it comes from an unrecognized browser, you’re likely to be presented with OTP on each login. This can slow down automations and result in more failures. You’ll need a solution to minimize the presence of OTP once you’ve passed it once.
While Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is a powerful tool to bolster website security it can become a hindrance to scaling your automation objectives. Attempting to solve MFA challenges with custom code is a perpetual, resource-intensive effort that can distract from your focus on automating. Companies like Weeldi provide an out-of-the-box solution to these 10 MFA obstacles and many others with no costly configuration or coding required. In addition, you pay for the results, not for integrator hours, development hours, and/or per bot hours that may not result in your long-term automation success.
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