It’s a simple fact. Passwords alone are no longer secure.
Digital crime is a growing trend where even the most recognizable organizations – Equifax, Verizon, Uber, Deloitte – suffer data breaches. Sophisticated antivirus software, firewalls, and data encryption are vulnerable. If you believe a few numbers, letters, and symbols can protect your most valuable assets, then think again.
But introduce multi-factor authentication to secure your business-critical data – you stand a fighting chance.
What is Multi-factor Authentication (MFA)?
Multi-factor authentication forces a user to provide at least two pieces of evidence they are whom they claim to be. The simplest type of MFA is two-factor authentication – 2FA – similar to what services like Gmail use.
- Factor 1: The user inputs their password;
- Factor 2: For every new login attempt, Google sends a one-time numerical code to the user’s registered mobile number.
Multi-factor authentication is simple to introduce. It requires few updates to the underlying security protocols, while every user can quickly sign up. It barely interrupts workflows, helping keep output high and IT Managers in good spirits.
MFA Offers Security for Remote Workers
In a world where remote working is becoming the norm, security becomes ever-more complex to manage. A robust authentication strategy overcomes the headache while offering distributed teams, access to business applications, no matter where – or when – employees log in.
Better still, if you’re worried yet another layer of security could discourage login, admins can adapt the MFA requirements to manage the overhead.
By reviewing specific information, say:
- Login patterns
- User location
- Systems the user is accessing
- Or, time since the last login
…IT Managers can grant access without requesting the additional factor(s).
For example, if an employee logged in from their home IP address at the start of the working day, admins can effectively disable the second factor in that particular instance.
7 Motivations to Enable Multi-Factor Authentication
If you don’t believe the hype, believe the data. The following seven facts show how MFA could save your business’s data, reputation, and bottom line.
- Verizon’s Data Breach Investigations Report highlights how weak or stolen user credentials account for up to 95% of all online data breaches – heed the warning from an organization that knows.
- According to a Ponemon Institute annual study, the average cost of a data breach has hit a record $3.86 million; while the cost per record stolen with confidential information has reached $148 – not only are successful breaches an upward trend, they more expensive than ever.
- Yes, big-name companies offer jackpot returns to hackers. Yet, Symantec illustrates that over one-third of data attacks affect companies with 250 employees or less – do not think small equals safe.
- Identity theft is the fastest-growing crime in the USA offering a low-risk, high-reward opportunity for hackers – it’s simpler than you’d think, and comes at a considerable cost.
- No anti-virus or firewall can protect you from a sophisticated phishing attack as people’s trust in others becomes your businesses’ biggest vulnerability. Your back-end might be secure – without MFA, the front door remains wide open.
- Data hacks mean more than plain stealing: some criminals alter records; others change services; you might even become the source of fake news or malicious code that destroys your reputation – none are desirable, while all are avoidable.
- At the end of the day, multi-factor authentication is commonplace. Banking applications require it. Social media platforms offer it. Email providers recommend it. Few cryptocurrency traders could live without it – introducing the same system at work makes common sense.
Stay Sane with Superior Security
No solution is fool-proof. Cybercriminals constantly evolve their tactics in response to increasingly-sophisticated security. However, robust authentication guarantees you have deployed every available measure.
Most importantly, it keeps user access simple, and systems safe.
Stay one step ahead with MFA; let employees focus on their day job from wherever they please.