Consider the security of your home. You don't just shut the door and feel confident it will keep unwanted visitors out. And why would you? Inside is your family, pets and most valued possessions. Their protection and safety is crucial. So, after you shut the door, you lock the deadbolt and set the home security alarm to layer your family's protection. But do you feel as confident about the security of your personal information and data on your computer? Multi-factor authentication can be the confidence boost you need.
What is Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)?
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is defined by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency as, "a layered approach tosecuring physical and logical access where a system requires a user to present a combination of two or more different authenticators to verify a user’s identity for login." This type of layered security ensures that even if one authenticator becomes compromised, unauthorized users will be unable to meet the second authentication requirement and will not be able to access the targeted physical space or computer system. Access denied, hackers!
Why Does Multi-Factor Authentication Matter?
Well, if we get right to the point, the reason is because dealing with a security breach is a nightmare. Implementing MFA makes gaining access to your business' information systems much more difficult, even in the event your passwords or PINs are compromised through phishing attacks or other means. In today's modern world, you password is not enough to keep your information safe. Password cracking techniques have become very sophisticated and high-powered computing is increasingly affordable. Using MFA will add an extra layer of protection to your accounts by increasing the level of difficulty in order to gain access.
How Does It Work?
MFA requires users to complete two or more authentication factors before successfully logging into an account. The more authentication factors, the higher level of security on your account. For example, when you are logging into your bank account, you could be asked to enter a password or PIN as one authentication step. As a secondary authentication step, you could be asked to provide a mobile token of some sort or a fingerprint scan. With this secondary authentication, an unauthorized user that manages to get ahold of your PIN or password would still be prohibited from gaining access to your information. We recommend enforcing MFA on all Internet-based systems including your email, remote desktop and VPNs.
Multi-factor authentication is a smart and and easy way to protect your most valuable information. Make sure you're laying your cyber protection and implement MFA on all your accounts.