You’re on your computer when, ding, you get an email from your ISP notifying you that your internet bill is overdue. You realize you won’t make it to the bank in time, or you just don’t feel like making the trek, so you decide to pay it online. You go to your banks website and enter the credentials to your account, but you don’t get access just yet! Instead, your bank sends a verification code to your mobile phone that you must enter in order to view your account. Once you enter the correct code, you can access your finances, transfer funds, and pay your bills.
These additional security measures can be annoying, but they offer you significantly better protection against data breaches and theft than a traditional username and password. This feature is called Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), or Two-Factor Authentication (2FA), and prevents hackers and cybercriminals from accessing your bank account – even if they have your bank card number and password.
Multi-factor authentication is your banks, or your email provider’s way of validating that you are truly authorized to access the account in question. MFA is accomplished by including two or more of these three components:
- Knowledge Factor (What you know): a username, password, pin number, email address, security question, CVV on the back of a credit card, etc.
- Possession factor (What you have): a mobile device, a security key, etc.
- Inherence factor (What you are): a fingerprint scan, iris scan, and facial and voice recognition
By incorporating two or more of these components, you can add a second, or even a third layer of security to your accounts. Here are 3 benefits you’ll get when you use MFA in your business:
- Strengthens Security: This is the main purposes of MFA - it offers additional layers of security. The more factors you include (possession, knowledge, inherence), the more difficult it is for a hacker to gain access to your accounts. MFA is a simple method that can protect your sensitive data and prevent it from falling into the wrong hands.
- Achieve Compliance: MFA can help your business become compliant. For instance, if your HR department has access to all staff’s home addresses and social security numbers, requiring them to sign in using MFA can prevent a cyber criminal from hacking into confidential employee data. With MFA you can avoid potential fines and legal action, since you took the necessary precautions to protect your data.
- Increase Productivity and Flexibility: if your employees regularly work from outside the office, or access confidential data on the go, your business is at risk. By using MFA, a hacker or cyber criminal would need access to your employees cell-phone, finger print, or security key to gain access to their accounts. With MFA, your company data is protected, and your employees can continue to work from the comfort of their home, or their local coffee shop, without having to worry so much about a data breach.
If you haven’t already done so, make sure to enable MFA on all your accounts - before it’s too late. Remember, if even one of your accounts gets hacked, a cyber criminal could gain access to your company, or personal data. MFA is a great first step, but you can’t stop there! To fully protect your business, speak to your Managed Service Provider to ensure they also have MFA enabled. This is extremely important, because they have access to computers and passwords. If they are breached, the hacker has a clear path to your business.
If you would like to discuss how to add a second layer of security to your sign-ins, please give us a call at (416) 966-3306, or send an email to [email protected] and someone from our office will be in touch to assist. And remember, one security hole could be enough to compromise your entire network. To protect yourself, enable multi-factor authentication NOW!