Are You Using MFA?
Let’s start with, what is MFA? This acronym is getting thrown around more and more when people talk about cybersecurity and passwords and hacking. So what exactly does that stand for and what does it mean?
MFA stands for multi-factor authentication. Multi-factor authentication is an electronic form of authentication that requires an end user to provide two or more forms of verification before being granted access to something such as an application or website, etc.
Sounds complicated right? We’ll, it’s not as bad as you think. I’m sure at some point, each of us have had an experience with MFA. Did you ever log into an account like your email and it texted you a code to verify it was really you? If so, then you’ve used MFA before. MFA mainly works off of two factors. The first thing is something that you know. That would include something like your password or a PIN. The second thing is something that you have. This would include a physical object like your cell phone where you can receive a call or text. These two factors are used in conjunction to validate that you should have access to something. The most common scenario would be that you enter your password, and then receive a code or key via email, text, or a phone call to gain access to a system.
So why is MFA so important?
MFA helps mitigate the risk of compromised passwords. It’s getting easier and easier for hackers to gain access to accounts via reused passwords or weak passwords. Phishing attempts via phone calls, texts or emails are becoming more prevalent and people are constantly being asked to give up their credentials to someone they think is legitimate. By having MFA in place, you have another mechanism that deters hackers from getting any further if your password is compromised.
MFA can also serve as a alert that someone has tried to gain access to your account. If you recieve a prompt with a login code from maybe your email or a certain application you use daily but you haven't attempted to log in, this could be a sign that someone has access to your credentials. If you've not attempted the login process, we suggest that you go ahead and change your password immediately because it most likely has been compromised. You may want to also check to see if you have other similar passwords and update those as well.
MFA helps your business to stay compliant. Many organizations are under laws that require them to have policies and procedures around their technology. Many of these policies include having authentication processes in place to help secure sensitive data. MFA makes sure that you have that extra layer of security to check that compliance box. Not to mention, it’s a common question that’s asked when you are applying for cybersecurity insurance.
At the end of the day, multi-factor authentication is an inexpensive and easy solution to implement. MFA coupled with security awareness training for employees can help to reduce compromised accounts and can add protection to your network. We know that sometimes it can be a pain to have to grab your phone and enter in that additional key, but it’s worth it in the long run. Taking an extra step can help keep not only your account more secure, but your business as well.
Questions about how to implement MFA or where to start? Contact us today to get the conversation started! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 423-664-8700.