- David Panitch
Why You Need to Use Multi-Factor Authentication
You probably use multi-factor authentication or two-step identification when you’re recovering your email account. When it comes to your organization, data-security is everything, and there’s a reason that email service providers and software developers both like to insist on multi-factor authentication.
It’s all about keeping you and your business secure.
What is Multi-Factor Authentication?
Authentications require that digital users provide evidence of their identity to show that they are who they say they are.
Right now, when you access one of your company’s systems, you authenticate that you are allowed to access it with a password. This is the first authentication, and it doesn’t have to be a password. It could be a biometric identifier or the swipe of a card.
When you’re using multi-factor authentication, you’ll need to provide further proof that you can access the system after the initial password. When you do this for your email account, your provider usually sends you a text with a number you can input. But, that doesn’t have to be your solution. In fact, the more seamless and simpler the authentication, the better. We find that many people have installed an authentication app on their cell phone. Then instead of you receiving a code that needs to be manually entered, the authentication app actually provides a code back to the requester AFTER you click approve authentication.
When you’re relying on only a single authentication, it can be easily compromised. Cyberattacks happen all of the time, and everyone needs a second level of security to help reduce the odds of a breach. This second level is usually something unique to the person, like their fingerprint or their cell phone.
It’s important to note that multi-factor authentication and two-factor authentication are different. The latter uses two factors to verify identification, and the former utilizes two or more.
How Does Multi-Factor Authentication Protect You?
Like a bank vault, multi-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security to protect a company’s sensitive information, like that contained in its online applications, using time-based one-time password via call or SMS, Google Authenticator, and so on. Additionally, it meets regulatory compliance requirements, it’s easy to implement, and it adds security to remote users.
What Are the Consequences of a Data Breach
Trust and Reputation are at Stake - The last thing your business needs is to compromise your customers’ private information. Data breaches of this kind can damage your reputation and erode trust (people are still spooked by Equifax’s breach from 2017).
Financial Cost - When you have a data breach, there are many costs involved. You may need to regain access to your system, add new security measures, restore lost information, pay fines related to the breach, and deal with other negative fallouts of the breach. A data breach can cost a company anywhere from $1.25M to $8.19M.
Business Data is Now Public - Do you have proprietary information that you wouldn’t want your competitors to access? A data breach could make that information publicly available, undermining the success of your company. Once information is out there, it can’t be taken back.
As we’ve previously written, some hackers will just find a way in, but your organization should use multi-factor authentication because it is your best protection against cyber attacks and data breaches, as well as the potential costs and fallout that follow.
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