SECURITY FOCUS: Why you should implement Multi-Factor Authentication RIGHT NOW!
Before the unique crisis situation that has created a massive remote workforce everywhere, we’d get into frequent conversations with clients on how they could better secure their businesses. Cyber-attacks have become more and more common, and the easiest point of entry is some sort of end user vulnerability – especially passwords.
It’s easy to say that you should make your passwords longer and more complex. But, besides having a complicated password, Multi Factor Authentication is a simple, effective way to minimize the risk of an attack and secure your data.
How does MFA work?
You might be using MFA already. Business line applications like Microsoft365, social media apps like Facebook and Instagram, and hundreds of others encourage users to enable 2-Factor Authentication(2FA), a basic form of MFA. For many business applications, however, MFA could include more than one separate factor to authenticate a user.
MFA works with the user inputting their username, password, and another mechanism to verify a user’s identification. There are different ways to authenticate a user’s identity and these are:
- Something only the user knows, a pin or another password
- Something that the user has, usually a USB stick or a key
- Something that is inherent to the physical user, such as a biometric scan
- The location of the user
- A time window when a user can access the system
How can MFA protect you?
Think about it this way, an attacker can get your login credentials but it will be highly unlikely for them to get your biometrics or an authentication key that was provided outside of the credential form. In security, there are no guarantees because attackers will always find a way but his way, you’re going to make it harder for them to attack your data. And the more complex you can make hacking your system, the less time a bad actor will likely waste attempting to breach your system.
Why should you enable MFA?
According to Microsoft, they’ve experienced over 300 million fraudulent sign-in attempts to their cloud service. According to Alex Weinert, a Director of Identity Security at Microsoft, “along with stronger credentials, Multi-Factor Authentication blocks out 99.99% of automated cyber-attacks”.
The FBI has reported that at least $12 billion dollars were stolen within 5 years by Business Email Compromise – a number that is rising at an alarming rate. It’s surprisingly low-tech but very profitable. People who only use single-factor authentication are much more susceptible to this attack. One method, for example, is for bad actors to lure victims to a phishing website and, from there, capture usernames and passwords. The attackers would use those credentials to steal money, data, or identities.
CNBC writes that 43% of online attacks are aimed at small business, but only 14% are prepared to defend themselves. The Hiscox – a business insurance agency that provides cyber insurance to business – released a report stating that attacks to medium-sized firms with about 50-249 employees rose from 36% in 2018 to 63% in 2019.
We can go on and on about the threats of attacks, but what does this mean for you? Simple. Adding MFA as an extra layer of security to your technology will dramatically reduce the risk of your technology being compromised by credential theft.
At the end of the day, you might not be able to stop attacks, but you can reduce the risk and impact of one. You can read more about Klik.Solutions’ Managed Security at https://klik.solutions/it-security/
To learn more about basic steps to security like MFA, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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