Business owners who want to protect their business from online threats should carefully consider how to update their passwords and add a second layer of protection to authentication. This is called multi-factor authentication or MFA.
These additional layers of protection should not be overlooked to protect your most sensitive data. In fact, it has become one of the most effective security measures available. It involves using two or more verification steps when signing into an account.
The first verification line is usually the password. After the correct password has been entered, a second step is initiated. This usually takes the form of a passcode that can be sent to a registered phone number or email address. This ensures that the person entering the password is the same person who has control of the account.
In many cases, the second or even third level of authentication takes the form of biometrics. This can be fingerprints or Face ID scans, many of which are now commonly used as part of mobile security.
These extra steps can keep hackers at bay. You can guess the password, but the added protection makes it extremely difficult to break into your system.
Many hackers and cyber thieves have sophisticated means of breaching the security systems of large companies. However, the easiest way for a cyber criminal to break into a database is through human error.
An unsuspecting employee can click the wrong link in an email. Suddenly, the cyber thieves have the person’s login credentials. This is a common occurrence and points to the importance of employee training when it comes to cybersecurity.
Despite the employee’s fault, having MFA in place is not harmful. The hacker might be able to get credentials but not gain access without further verification steps.
Passcodes sent to specific phone numbers and email addresses, or biometric verification steps can trick the intruder into packing up and looking for cyber loot elsewhere.
Many employees are of course working from home due to the pandemic. This leads to a higher risk due to the lack of on-site supervision and the multitude of personal devices used for work processes.
Hackers are increasingly and successfully trying to attack companies that have neglected to improve their protection for remote use. This is where MFA can offer a viable solution.
Implementing MFA is very simple. Setup does not include any external hardware. A managed IT service provider can support a company to initiate and implement the process correctly. It can be easier than most business owners would think and offers a tested solution with solid results.
Even companies like Microsoft have made it clear that more companies should embrace MFA. They believe that 99.9% of security breaches can be stopped with this one simple change. It’s low risk for the business owner and can result in potentially huge long-term savings, especially if it helps avert a security breach.
All in all, multi-factor authentication is definitely a proven approach and applicable across all devices. A professional managed service provider can provide technical advice and support for MFA adoption. It can help businesses stop cyber thieves.