Multi-Factor Authentication. The buzzword these days, but what does it mean? - Helping Hand PC Services and Networking, Inc

Multi-Factor Authentication. The buzzword these days, but what does it mean?

You may think your data is locked away in a vault that can’t be opened but hackers today may have other ideas. In today’s world, no matter how good you believe your password is, it always helps to have extra security.

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is a method that requires multiple combinations or factors for the user to get access to the account they are wanting to use. Rather than asking for the same old password used over multiple accounts, MFA creates a second or even third layer of protection that can keep cyber-attacks under control. This way if one credential is compromised, the unauthorized user will still be shut out as they will be unable to meet the second or third requirement. Some of the key methods used in MFA are as follows.

  • Knowledge-based authentication: this may have the user answer a security question they created.
  • Possession-based authentication: an example of this is mobile authentication where the user may need a one-time code either through text or an app.
  • Inherence-based authentication: This deals with any biological traits the user may have. Examples would be fingerprint scans or facial recognition.

There are multiple benefits that come with Multi-Factor Authentication. MFA will enhance your company’s security by requiring the users to identify themselves through more than a username and password.  MFA is easily adaptable to changing workplaces. As we move into a more remote world, companies need to require multiple solutions that ensure every access request is real. If an employee is not in a trusted location, MFA can evaluate the risk that comes with the user’s location and create different authentication methods. An example would be our company uses LastPass, a password manager that keeps all your account info for any websites in a secure vault. With LastPass, we also use Duo Mobile, an app that generates one-time codes to log in to LastPass and some of the accounts stored inside of it. Another benefit of MFA is it will keep you from using easy passwords and can help stop password resets that teams may be using while keeping everything secure. This will keep the workflow consistent without making the user go through a long process of logging in.

Something else to keep in mind is, MFA is starting to become Mandatory to get Cyber Insurance Coverage from a Cyberattack. Whether you are renewing a policy or purchasing a new one, your company may be ineligible if you have no MFA implementation. The reason for this is cybercrime incidents have been on a rise in the last decade. An example of why this is important would be The Colonial Pipeline attack that happened this year. This resulted in a claim worth $4.4 million and the government was only able to recover about half of it. This was all caused by a single password being compromised.

If you are interest in learning more about the product or would like to set up Multi-factor Authentication, we are here to help. Contact us at (630) 338-8661 and a technician will be able to answer all your questions.