Multi-Factor Authentication Implementation Playbook

December 16, 20234 min read

Playbook Objectives:

  • Evaluate the current authentication processes and identify vulnerabilities.
  • Implement robust multi-factor authentication (MFA) within the organization’s network.
  • Train the IT staff and incident response team on recognizing and responding to authentication-based attacks.
  • Test the effectiveness of MFA in a controlled, simulated environment.
  • Establish protocols for continually assessing and updating MFA measures.

Difficulty Level:

  • Intermediate to Advanced


  • GlobalTech Solutions, a mid-sized fintech company, prides itself on innovation and customer trust. As digital threats have grown, the company has recognized that their single-factor authentication system is a chink in their armor. Having recently fended off a series of credential stuffing attacks, the CISO, Jordan Ambrose, is intent on ramping up security.
  • The company has a diverse network architecture, including cloud services, on-premise servers, and remote access points for its decentralized workforce. Key systems involved in the exercise include the customer data management platform, the internal employee portal, and VPN access for remote employees.
  • The scenario is set to unfold in GlobalTech’s sophisticated cyber range, a simulation environment that mirrors their production network. The narrative begins with a believable attack scenario: a phishing campaign targeting remote employees, leading to stolen credentials. The attack simulates a scenario in which unauthorized access has been gained, but stopped short due to the lack of a second authentication factor.
  • The purpose of the exercise is to evaluate how the newly implemented MFA can prevent the simulated attack from advancing and to ensure that policies and protocols are effective. GlobalTech’s management aims to phase into a zero-trust security model, and this MFA exercise represents a critical step in their cybersecurity maturation.


  • Access Control
  • Identity and Authentication Management
  • Incident Response and Management

Exercise Attack Steps:

  • Begin with a briefing for the cyber range participants, discussing goals and protocols.
  • Initiate a simulated phishing attack targeting the employees of GlobalTech Solutions, specifically remote staff who might be more susceptible to such tactics.
  • Upon a simulated employee taking the bait, the attacker “steals” credentials and attempts to use them to infiltrate the company’s VPN.
  • The attack is momentarily successful in terms of credential validation, but because MFA is required, the attacker hits a roadblock when prompted for a second authentication factor.
  • The IT staff monitors the incident and collects data on the attacker’s behavior during the thwarted attempt at unauthorized access.
  • The team assesses whether the MFA challenge was effective and which type of second factor (SMS, app-based push notification, hardware token, etc.) proves the most resilient against the intrusion attempt.
  • The incident response team mobilizes to identify the breach source, communicate with stakeholders, and enforce protocols designed to isolate the impact.
  • Post-exercise, perform a thorough debrief to evaluate the response efficiency, understand the time taken to detect and respond to the breach, and identify areas for improvement.
  • Iterative steps are outlined for refining MFA settings, user training, and additional protective measures.

By conducting this cyber range exercise, GlobalTech Solutions intends to strengthen its security posture, increase awareness among its workforce, and solidify the protocols and systems protecting its critical assets. The company knows that an effective MFA implementation can significantly reduce the risk of unauthorized access, ultimately ensuring that GlobalTech can maintain the customer trust that is integral to its brand.