An increasing number of professionals have embraced the working-from-home lifestyle fueled by the current pandemic. While this choice’s perks are evident, there are some drawbacks that those conducting any aspect of their businesses online should consider. One of these is cybersecurity.
In the months following the pandemic, cyberattacks have surged, causing significant financial losses and reputation damages. Nonetheless, protecting your business from these attacks is made much simpler by using a multi-factor authentication (MFA) system.
Even when businesses are functioning in office as they traditionally have, MFA is an essential of basic cybersecurity hygiene. Here is an introduction to this simple yet powerful password protection strategy.
What Is Multi-Factor Authentication?
Multi-factor authentication is a password protection system that provides an additional layer of security between your business and hackers. It works by requiring users to provide multiple credentials to log in to accounts, view documents, or open files.
MFA is among the most common security enhancement features implemented by companies and organizations, and you’ve almost certainly used it before; everything from using a debit card and entering a PIN to using a one-time passcode sent through a push notification is a form of MFA.
There are several combinations of credential types that you can use to provide to access your account. For the highest security, MFA requires that users log in using at least two types of the following classes of credentials:
- Something you have (a credit card, key fob, phone, etc.)
- Something you know (Password, security questions, etc.)
- Something you are (biometric factors such as fingerprints, face recognition, etc.)
A Staggering Success Rate
Introducing MFA can be an effective strategy to add a second protective layer to your business’s security system. It guards against common cyber attacks that use compromised passwords and usernames to access your accounts.
According to Microsoft, multi-factor authentication can block over 99.9% of password-targeted attacks—making it the ultimate password protection tool. With that level of success, using MFA is an obvious measure for any business concerned with its cybersecurity.
How MFA Prevents Attacks
Phishing, social engineering, and password attacks are by far the most common attacks users fall victim to. And when your users become compromised, that makes your company susceptible to attacks as well. These attacks often target your private information, personal detail, and corporate data. If you are storing clients’ private or financial information, this can cause even more severe damages to your business should your security be breached.
MFA thwarts password attacks by requiring a second unique authenticator. If a hacker has uncovered your login credentials through a phishing attack, brute force attack, or other method, when they go to use those credentials, they will be stopped without access to your physical device or unique biometric features as well.
At this point, it is highly unlikely that attackers will persist in trying to access the second means of authentication; even if they do try, it’s often impossible for them to successfully gain access to your second authenticator.
This means that even if employees make rookie mistakes like reusing passwords or choosing an easily guessed password like 123456, their fault won’t become your business’s downfall.
The Rising Need for Cybersecurity
In today’s digital world, the need for cybersecurity is undeniable. If you fail to take adequate precautions, your business may become compromised, leading to potentially crushing financial damage in the form of downtime, loss of customer trust and business, and even legal penalties if the breach occurred because of negligence.
Additionally, the rate of cyber crime is rising dramatically due to the increasing number of professionals and workers now working remotely. While in 2019, only 7% of US professionals worked from home, today, over 60% have made the switch.
These factors, plus the ever-increasing arsenal of attacks hackers use to infiltrate organizations, make the necessity of cybersecurity undeniable.
A Solution for Every Business
Whether you have just launched your online business or are already growing steadily, you need to make cybersecurity a priority. And MFA is an easy and affordable tool that is an essential first step in that process.
There are a variety of flexible options you can choose between to ensure the best experience for your users and business. Although MFA is sometimes seen as an inconvenience, placing security before convenience will ultimately be worth it for your business.
Tolar Systems is here to make your MFA implementation as smooth as possible. We offer expert cybersecurity services with everything you need to get started with MFA and other essential cybersecurity tools. Contact us today for more information!