Importance of Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
Do you use the same password for everything?
Are you still using the same password from six months ago? How about a year ago? Back from High School?
Passwords are typically the only barrier to prevent someone from accessing you and your firms’ files, system and irreplaceable data.
Yet they can easily be hacked, fooled or even guessed (the number one password of 2020 was 123456 for example).
You can’t trust passwords as a way to keep your information secure. According to a report from Dashlane, Most users that grew up with the internet have around 130 password-protected accounts floating in the digital sphere. Statistically, 49% of them have the same password.
Known as ‘password fatigue’, most users can’t be bothered learning new passwords or coming up with different creative ones. Hence, you need something more potent than passwords.
Introducing Multi-Factor Authentication.
What is Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)?
MFA is a circuit breaker technology that stops access to accounts without a second or third authentication of a users identity.
Including the right password, users may also need to submit:
- Answering a security question
- Identifying friends or insider knowledge (popular with social media networks).
- A code sent to an external device (such as a phone).
- Biometrics (such as a fingerprint).
- Third-party proxy app.
Many of these techniques even defeat the most common hacking method, social engineering. Even if a hacker posed as a friend and gathered intelligence to beat a password, they can’t fool most of these additional multi-factor authentications
In combination, these different technologies mean that only those who should access data can, and the firm can rest soundly knowing that rouge third parties can’t snoop around.
What are the advantages of Multi-Factor Authentication?
Apart from increased and secure security, there are a few other advantages that come with using Multi-Factor Authentication.
The first is that it dramatically simplifies the log-in process. It might at first seem counter-intuitive as the first log-in requires extra authentication steps, but once you are in your in. A user can access different services throughout the network without having the log-in again or remember various other passwords.
This leads to more flexibility and productivity. Working from home is now more accessible and more secure, as well as reducing operating costs.
Lastly, if you work with sensitive data (like government or health data), you will need to update your security system with MFA to comply with current policies.
What are the disadvantages of Multi-Factor Authentication?
There are a few cons that come with MFA, and we thought it would be unbalanced if we didn’t give our take on them.
Multi-factor authentication can be a little more expensive than just using regular old passwords. They require more technical support oversight and an upfront cost to install. But compared to the cost of losing file integrity, it is a no brainer.
Plus, we all know how flustering it can be to enter a password only to be hit with an MFA roadblock. Where did I leave my phone? Where did it send the code? These impediments can alienate users (employees and customers) and make them frustrated. There isn’t an easy way around this, but only the cost of using a more secure method to protect your data.
With more and more of the business world switching over to multi-factor authentication, users are becoming comfortable and accustomed to it. Services like Netflix, banking, gaming, and social media have all switched over to MFA and perhaps its time you did to!
If you are ready to take the next step, TechTidy Consulting is prepared to guide you through the process of Multi-Factor Authentication and how it can be a bespoke security solution for your firm. Give us a call on (07) 3891 2104.