With cyber attacks on the rise, it’s critical that every business—no matter your size or industry—focus on implementing advanced security solutions.
One of the most effective tools for protecting your accounts and devices is MFA, or multi-factor authentication. This tool acts as a double-layered barrier to further secure your password-protected devices and accounts. With MFA, hackers are much less likely to be able to penetrate your systems.
Here’s a rundown of what multi-factor authentication does and why it’s important for your business to implement:
What Is Multi-Factor Authentication?
MFA is a system used to enhance security on your accounts and devices. Most people have often used multi-factor authentication without realizing it. If you’ve ever put your card into an ATM and typed in your PIN, this acts as an MFA process. If you have ever logged into a website that has sent a code to your smartphone to confirm your identity, you’ve used MFA.
Multi-factor authentication secures your logins with extra steps to ensure that you aren’t being hacked. It’s also been referred to as 2FA, or two-factor authentication. MFA requires you to provide more than one piece of evidence of your credentials when you log into your account. It could be a face ID on your phone, a password, a smart card, a code, a security question, or a fingerprint.
The key element to MFA is that it includes two pieces of different information before you are allowed to login (i.e., rather than just making you enter two passwords, your credentials must be verified using two different methods). These methods are typically a two-part combination of something you know (like a password), something you own (like your smartphone), and something you are (genetic qualities, such as a fingerprint).
Which Passwords Need MFA?
As multi-factor authentication prevents unauthorized access to your account (be it social media or banking), truly all of your accounts and devices should implement MFA. While you can establish simple ways to conduct MFA verification—such as auto-filled passwords and one-click apps—MFA is an important part of keeping your information secure.
How To Set Up MFA
How you set up MFA depends on where you plan to use it. You may set it up with your bank when you sign up for online banking, but when it comes to your business’s IT, you’ll want to invest in trustworthy cybersecurity services to make sure MFA is applied to all systems and devices and required from each authorized user.
When you set up MFA on a single device or account, some simple steps that you can follow include:
- Sign into your online account. You may then be prompted to provide more information as the second part of your 2FA, if the account or device is already set up to use it.
- Select how you plan to verify your account, and then follow the prompts on the page. If you’re not asked to provide MFA information, you may need to use a third-party tool such as Duo Mobile to secure your account.
- Once you’ve set up MFA, test your information to make sure it is set up correctly.
- The next time you log in, you’ll be asked to back up your login with the new verification method.
What Cybersecurity Methods Should You Take In Your Business?
Beyond implementing MFA, there are other measures you can and should take to secure your business systems and data. With the right cybersecurity team on your side, you can ensure that your business remains protected.
Some services you should consider include the following:
- Antivirus Software: With the right antivirus program, you can keep the walls up around your business and prevent your data from being stolen. It works as one of the best ways to protect your business against attacks from outside sources.
- Complicated Passwords: Almost every webpage and application needs a password for access. You should ensure that your passwords are complicated or “strong” passwords (which your device may recommend for you) so that they are harder to break into. Your security questions should have difficult and case-sensitive answers as well to ensure they can’t be bypassed by hackers.
- Managed Service Provider: A Managed Service Provider offers risk assessments, 24/7 security monitoring, and more to keep your business secure. They can also perform regular data backups to ensure your data is secure and accessible at all times.
Multi-factor authentication will keep your business secure, and with the help of the right Managed Service Provider, you can ensure your business has the right layers of protection to combat increasing cyber attacks.