What is Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)?

  • Article Type:
  • QA
  • Last Modified:
  • 01/25/2019

Question

What is Multi-factor Authentication (MFA)?
What is 2-Step Verification?

 

Environment

  • TaxWise
  • TaxWise Online
  • TaxWise Solution Center
  • ATX
  • ATX Solution Center

Answer

As we strive to build long-lasting and sustainable partnerships, we continue to assess and leverage technology that aims to help you provide more security to your customers. In light of this, select software will have an extra layer of security that makes it more difficult for cybercriminals to access your tax practitioner data.

2 step verification, is used to create a more secure login experience, especially on web-based applications. You may already use 2 step verification on a banking website, an email account, or other websites you log into.  There are three types of authentication that can be used, such as things you know, things you have, and things you are. Wolters Kluwer focuses on things you know and have. An example of something you ARE would be use of facial recognition, eye scans, or fingerprint scans.

The IRS intends to require this type of login in the future, but Wolters Kluwer is adopting this process early, because of the importance of data security. To implement 2 factor authentication on most of our web applications, the first step requires individuals to login with a Client ID, user name, and password. This is not a change from prior years. Going forward, the after you login with this information, you will also need to choose how to receive an access code to enter.
 

Why is it important?

Cybercriminals would have a difficult time accessing your client’s data. Here’s why: after entering the password, our two-step verification process requires first-time users to enter a one-time passcode that is sent to a registered/validated telephone or e-mail. That code must then be entered to verify the user’s identity. A criminal would need physical control of the user’s mobile device, or would need immediate access to the user’s e-mail address.
 

Is this mandatory?

No, at this time it is not mandatory. This 2-step verification is enabled automatically for the first time you login, so you will have to go through the verification process. However, once you have logged in, you can disable it.
 

Step-by-step instructions with screenshots

First enter your login information on the Login page:
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Next, you will see this window giving you the option to email you the code. At this time, email is the only option, but in the future, you will have the ability to receive a text message as well. Click Send the Code. Note the code is only active for 10 minutes after clicking the button
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Enter the code in the field and click Submit. If you choose to remember the device, you will not have to request an access code for 90 days. However, if you login from a different browser, location or reset your cookies, you will have to request a new code. 
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Additional Information

You can also disable 2-Step Verification as the Admin user. This is found in the Manage Users window. However, we do not recommend disabling this feature, both because of the added security it provides, as well as the chance to become acclimated with this process before the IRS requires this step.

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