Multi-factor Authentication: Why Your Organization Should Adopt This Strategy
The mantra of “more is better” is often a flawed mentality in life. In the world of cyber security, however, more layers of protection for data and access is definitely better. Multi-factor authentication is one such layering of security that can enhance your business’ technology security.
What Is Multi-factor Authentication (MFA)?
Sometimes referred to as two-step verification, multi-factor authentication is a critical addition to any organization’s cyber security toolbox. With the magnitude and scale of cyber threats constantly growing, it is just one more way to verify that a user is who they say they are. This is often done using fingerprints, one-time pins, or push notifications to convince a system of your identity.
When using multi-factor authentication there are usually several factors that can be used to prevent a breach from occurring. These factors fall into one of three categories. The first is usually something that the user knows such as a PIN number, access code, or an answer to a secret question arranged at an earlier time. The second verification factor could be something that the user has such as an authenticator app or hardware token. Finally, a user may be able to verify their identity properly using biometric information such as a fingerprint, face scan or voice recording.
Why Adopt MFA?
A quick look at current data is good place to start with explaining why MFA just makes sense. The 2023 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report found that 86% of breaches involved the use of stolen credentials. Therefore protecting your credentials should be a top priority as we head into a new year. Part of that protection is to make it just that little bit harder for a cyber criminal to get their hands on your account information. Yes, we know it is a pain to use a second step to gain access to accounts and data, but that few extra minutes or mere seconds can mean the difference between your business’ security or vulnerability. Adopting a multi-factor authentication strategy will make it more difficult for a cybercriminal to access sensitive company or client data that is only password-protected. It will also prevent identity theft as two forms of identification are needed to access password protected areas. For industries that have compliance or regulatory requirements, like the healthcare field, MFA is often mandated. Many of our healthcare clients have switched over to MFA for that express purpose. Has your business adopted multi-factor authentication practices? If not, talk to our team about implementation and how it can benefit and safeguard your organization’s identity and sensitive client information.