Security

IBM Cloud Platform now adds support for Multi-Factor Authentication

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In April 2018, IBM Cloud Platform added support for Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). This adds an extra layer of security to users’ accounts by requiring all users to provide a time-based one-time passcode in addition to their standard IBMid and password when logging in. Having this option enables IT admins to rest a little easier knowing that they’re protecting their company’s network and workloads while keeping access flexible and easy.

How does it work?

The account owner can enable MFA on their account by going to the Manage > Security > Identity and Access > option from the header.  Then selecting Settings tab to see authentication options for the account. 
Please note that when MFA is enabled for the account, all users in the account are required to complete the MFA process next time they log in.  
Once enabling multi-factor authentication for the account, users logging into the account will be asked to install an authenticator application like Google Authenticator or IBM Verify.  If a user is a member to multiple accounts and at least one of those accounts is MFA-enabled, then the user must input MFA before logging into IBM Cloud.

Other Considerations:

  • MFA can be configured by the Account Owner on a per account basis and not on individual user IDs
  • Once MFA is enabled for the account, all users in the account are required to complete the MFA process next time they log in
  • MFA is not supported for federated users
  • API Keys for users and Service IDs will continue to work after MFA is enabled
  • Users of native CF CLI or UI login into CF must use API keys or SSO after MFA is enabled on the account
  • Linked Account users who previously configured IaaS IMS 2FA in the Control Portal should consider the following:
    • MFA for your IBM Cloud account extends across the platform and infrastructure services for your linked account, so you might choose to disable the 2FA that applies only to infrastructure resources in your account in favor of the MFA setting option.
    • If you are a federated user, MFA is not supported. Therefore, you might want to retain your 2FA for infrastructure only resources to ensure the security of your resources.

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