Almost every list of cyber security tips includes multi-factor authentication (MFA), and with good reason. Adding an extra layer of identity verification is one of the simplest ways to make it more challenging for the average criminal to steal your information. Below, we’ll outline the top reasons why implementing MFA is no longer just an option but an absolute priority for businesses, regardless of size or industry. Here’s what you should know!
Multi-factor authentication is a security measure that requires two or more factors or credentials before allowing the user to access a system, network, or application. In simple terms, it means using more than just a password to prove that you are who you claim to be. To pass MFA, a user needs to be able to provide at least two forms of identity verification from these three categories:
With two-factor authentication (2FA), you only need to verify your identity in two of the categories above. On the other hand, MFA goes a step further and uses two or more of these checks to approve a user’s access attempt. This means using MFA is more effective if you want to keep your networks, systems, and data secure.
Gone are the days when traditional passwords were enough to keep malicious intruders from getting their hands on our online accounts. Cybercriminals have gotten smarter, finding ways to crack even the most complex passwords. For businesses, this poses a significant risk to sensitive data and customer trust. That’s where multi-factor authentication comes in as an essential tool for cyber security. Here are the top reasons why you should include MFA in your business’s security strategy:
Password attacks are becoming more sophisticated. From phishing to pharming, cybercriminals are working overtime to gain unauthorized access to professional and personal accounts. A large number of these attacks target businesses and their employees, aiming to steal sensitive data or gain unauthorized access to critical systems. With MFA, even if a hacker successfully steals or guesses someone’s password, they would still need additional verification steps to get into the account. It acts as a powerful deterrent, as hackers are less likely to target accounts with multiple authentication layers.
Using the same password for multiple accounts is a dangerous habit that, unfortunately, a lot of people have. In a business setting, an employee reusing passwords for multiple accounts can create significant security risks. If a hacker manages to gain access to one employee’s account, they can potentially use the same login credentials to infiltrate other systems or platforms within the company. This puts sensitive data and company resources at great risk. MFA requires employees to provide additional verification, such as a unique code sent to their mobile device, in addition to their password. This means each platform or system will have its own unique authentication process, adding an extra layer of security.
Embracing remote and hybrid work arrangements has become common for many organizations. However, this shift brings new security challenges. Multi-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security to the login process, even when employees are using their own devices or connecting to unsecured networks. MFA allows you to maintain data security and safeguard your company’s networks, no matter where your team is working from. This helps employees focus on their tasks without worrying about security risks, so your business can thrive in a changing work environment.
While anti-virus software and advanced firewalls are great at safeguarding business systems, they don’t fully address the vulnerability created by employee access. Hackers can take advantage of this entry point if they manage to steal an employee’s login information. Once inside the network, they can bypass all the other security measures that were put in place, rendering them ineffective. That’s where MFA comes in. By requiring additional verification, it ensures that your other security measures are working as they should to provide your business with the protection it needs.
Applying multi-factor authentication to your network is a great way to boost your cyber security. On top of that, it sends a clear message that your business is committed to protecting sensitive data. With a strong defence against cyber threats, you can solidify your reputation as a secure and reliable business that customers and partners can trust.
To learn more about the best practices for keeping your business and your sensitive data safe, get a free assessment today.