The Importance of Multi-factor Authentication
Multi-factor authentication is the process of identification by asking the user to verify two or more characteristics that are unique to that user. There are typically three different characteristics that are used as factors in the authentication process: something you know, something you have, and something you are. For example, you might have a text code sent to your phone in order to log in to your email. Alternatively, you may have to provide a fingerprint or participate in facial recognition technology to enter a building.
Why is multi-factor authentication important?
When implemented correctly, multi-factor authentication can be the single most effective tool to protect against remote attacks. It adds an additional layer of protection against compromised credentials; one of the most common types of breaches. Without multi-factor authentication, it’s more difficult to identify who the user truly is, since passwords are often easy to guess, crack, or steal.
What are the benefits, and how can it affect your business?
Although employees are required to participate in security awareness training, phishing threats are becoming more apparent, and more complicated. Users may not fully understand the risks the network is exposed to if a hacker takes advantage of credentials. If you do the bare minimum when it comes to usernames and passwords, hackers will waste no time taking advantage of it.
In addition, multi-factor authentication should extend beyond your immediate network. If your organization uses any third-party services, those services should also be using multi-factor authentication. Although you can enforce password complexity rules, you can’t force people to use different passwords for all the third-party services used by your company. So for example, if a hacker tries to access a business account you have, and they succeed, they could also try to use that same password for one of your third party services. And if that third party service doesn’t have multi-factor authentication on, you might be in real trouble!
Without an extra layer of protection like multi-factor authentication, an attacker can exploit an exposed email account or damage an application in order to gain access to additional user information. When implemented correctly, multi-factor authentication can provide better security for customers and employees, boosted conversation rates due to smoother logins, improved customer trust, and a reduction in operating costs from data breaches to service fees.
How can we help?
With the increase of cyber-attacks on organizations, it is no longer enough to rely on password strength as your only layer of protection. Although multi-factor authentication is not bullet-proof, it’s been proven to decrease the likelihood of a data breach due to compromised passwords.
Interested in setting up multi-factor authentication for your business? Let us guide you in the right direction! We know how important it is that your data remains private and secure for the protection of your customers and your business. Our cyber security network specialists can address active threats to your organization and prevent future hackers from threatening your business and information. Visit our cyber security services page, or give us a call at (410) 453-9300 for more information.