If you’ve been reading up on cybersecurity, you’re likely familiar with using Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) to secure your accounts. With a study showing MFA can prevent 99.9% of hackers, it’s an excellent layer to any strong cybersecurity defense. But how exactly does MFA work? What benefits does it bring you and your team? Is your business still at risk for a cyberattack when MFA is enabled? Learn more about multi-factor authentication here to ensure you’re using it to its full advantage.
How Multi-Factor-Authentication works.
Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is an authentication method that requires you to provide two or more verification factors to use an online application, account, or a VPN. Rather than simply entering your username and password, MFA prompts you to enter additional information, such as a PIN, a confirmation on your smartphone, or even a fingerprint. MFA will typically use several factors to verify a user’s identity.
MFA will involve at least two of the following:
- Something you know (password, passphrase, PIN)
- Something you have (mobile phone, physical token, key fob, smartcard)
- Something you are (retinal scan, voice/facial recognition, other biometrics)
Once the identity verification process is complete, the user will be given an access control token (cookie, text file, or other object) to further establish their identity. The token may expire after a certain timeframe, which would require the user to re-authorize their identity.
The benefits are endless.
As you can see, MFA is much more secure than a single password or passphrase. Besides reducing your risk for compromised passwords and increasing your overall security, MFA also brings many benefits to you, your business, and your team by:
- Reducing fraud
- Meeting regulatory compliance
- Enabling more flexibility and mobility within your business
- Encouraging customer trust
- Streamlining logins
- And more!
Enhanced security with MFA.
You get access to a deep bench of technology subject matter experts.
While Multi-Factor Authentication is an excellent way to protect against cyberattacks, it’s not 100% reliable — in fact, nothing is. Hackers can still gain access to data, especially through social engineering tactics. Social engineering occurs when an attacker gains access to data, networks, or personal information through deceitful social skills. These types of attacks are unique because they use psychology to manipulate a user to provide information. An attacker may seem well-intentioned by posing as an employee, a reporter, or even a friend. Through these identities, attackers can infiltrate a business and compromise valuable information.
Here are a few additional ways to secure your team when using multi-factor authentication:
- Double Check Before Clicking Any Links: Hover over links from unknown emails or messages before clicking on them. Make sure they are going to legitimate web addresses and not dangerous links.
- Educate Your Team on Social Engineering: Review the basics of social engineering tactics such as phishing and malware to identify any potential cyberattack attempt.
- Use Application MFA: Instead of SMS-based MFA, use application-based MFA whenever possible due to mobile phone SIM card risks. Check out this article about Reddit as a warning of what could happen.
- Secure Your Remote Workplace: If you have employees working remotely, secure them through a Remote Desktop Gateway or Citrix environment, which both utilize MFA policies.
How LincolnIT can help you get started.
Are you interested in enabling multi-factor authentication, but don’t know where to begin? Turn to LincolnIT for all of your security needs. When it comes to securing your data, systems, and programs, we never make exceptions — it’s always at the forefront of everything we do. With constant 365/24/7 data protection, you can be confident that your business will be safe and secure. Read more about our security offerings or schedule a call with us. We look forward to getting started on your security solution!