Blog | February 11th, 2022
Don’t Be an Easy Target: Why You Need Multi-Factor Authentication
You’ve probably heard the saying, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” The same philosophy applies to cybersecurity. If you only use a single-factor authentication method (like a password), you’re making yourself an easy target for cybercriminals. By using multiple forms of authentication – such as a password and a security token – you make it much harder for thieves to steal your information. The less enticing your data appears the more likely criminals will go after someone else’s information instead.
Multifactor authentication makes it harder for criminals to steal your information, as they would need access to more than just your password. If they target you, they could gain access to your bank accounts, health care records, and more. This is why multifactor authentication is so important.
What is Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)?
MFA is the use of more than one form of authentication to verify the identity of someone trying to access a system or account. In short, it is a more secure way to protect your data.
The most common type of MFA is a password combined with something else, like a security token or biometric data. It requires at least two factors of identification, such as:
- Something you know – such as a password, PIN number, or challenge question
- Something you have – such as a smart card, hardware token, or the most common one which is an authenticator app on your phone or tablet
- Or something that defines who you are – also called biometric verification, such as your fingerprint, retina scan, or voice recognition.
How Does MFA Work?
Now when someone tries logging into your account from another device, they will get prompted for this verification method in order to gain access. If the login attempt wasn’t initiated by them – they’ll get alerted immediately so they can change passwords before hackers gain access. MFA also helps keep your data safe on other platforms such as Facebook and Twitter which are two of the most targeted social media sites by hackers.
When multifactor authentication is enabled in apps like Slack and Dropbox, users receive an alert when someone tries logging into their account from another device. To set up MFA on your account, you’ll need to enter a phone number and verify it by entering the code that gets sent via SMS message or voice call.
What are the Benefits of Multi-Factor Authentication?
More and more companies have started using MFA in the past few years as awareness around data privacy and cybersecurity has increased. In a study by Okta, it was found that multifactor authentication can help reduce breach risk by up to 90 percent.
MFA also helps organizations meet compliance regulations such as GDPR and HIPAA. And for employees, multifactor authentication can increase security while working from home or on the go.
Enforcing MFA in your organization has multiple benefits including:
- Enhanced security – multifactor authentication makes it harder for hackers to access your data by requiring multiple forms of identification. This can be done through passwords, biometric verification (like fingerprint scans), or hardware tokens like smart cards that generate one-time use codes at random intervals every few seconds
- Improved compliance standards – multifactor authentication helps organizations meet compliance standards like HIPAA, PCI DSS, and ISO 27001 by requiring multifactor authentication from all users who access sensitive data
- Reduced risk of human error – multifactor authentication reduces the likelihood that employees will accidentally share their password with others or write it down where someone else can find it
- Allows you to alter your workplace settings – When employees log into their work account from the company premises, they often don’t need to provide any additional security factors because it is assumed that nobody else has access but themselves. However, if an employee connects to a coffee shop’s Wi-Fi, then MFA will make sure only known data gets into your system- which helps reduce risks associated with breaches like hackers stealing customer info.
- Better user experience – multifactor authentication is easy to use and can be set up on most devices. With multifactor authentication, users only need to enter their login credentials once and are then automatically verified on all other devices
To be safe, we recommend that you implement multi-factor authentication as part of your cybersecurity strategy. It’s a relatively inexpensive and easy way to protect individual users and the wider business network against data breaches. We want to help you keep your company safe! If you’re ready to talk more about incorporating multi-factor authentication into your company’s cybersecurity strategy or need help doing so, talk to us today by clicking the Get Started button above!
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