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Multi-Factor Authentication: 4 Reasons why now is the time

Since ancient times, we've used "secret passwords" to guard our information and confirm who we can trust.

With modern technology, nearly all our tools are accessed by a username and password. But technology has also enabled attackers to guess our passwords with ever-increasing ease.

Enter MFA. Multi-Factor Authentication (otherwise called 2FA or 2-Factor Authentication) has become a must-have tool for securing your technology and accounts. If you or your business have been waiting, now is the time to make the switch.

What is Multi-Factor Authentication? It requires that the user present two different types of authentication to confirm their identity. In addition to a password, you must either use something you have (smartphone app, phone call, USB key) or something you are (fingerprint, facial recognition). Often you can mark a device as “trusted,” so you only need to authorize that computer once.

Four reasons why now is the time for multi-factor authentication:

  1. It really works. Adding MFA to your accounts helps protect against many of the biggest threats to your data such as

  • Phishing Attacks: Typing your password into a legit-looking window gives the attackers sensitive passwords;

  • Password Reuse: Many users still use the same password for multiple accounts. A single compromised password might give an attacker access to multiple business and social media accounts;

  • Brute-Force Attacks: A computer across the world can guess thousands of passwords per second. MFA ensures that even a lucky guess isn’t enough to access your account.

Google's security blog reports that Multi-Factor Authentication, when implemented well, "can block up to 100% of automated bots, 99% of bulk phishing attacks and 66% of targeted attacks."

2. Many of your accounts are exposed to the Internet. Remember, if you can access critical information with only a password, so can an attacker!

3. Hacked accounts are costly, in more ways than you think. In addition to ransomware and data loss, there are other costs such as:

  • Reputation: If a hacked mailbox is sending spam to your clients and partners, what will they think of trusting you with their business

  • Critical infrastructure: Your business may be relying on more accounts than you realize. If your internet registrar login is compromised (like GoDaddy or Network Solutions), an attacker can re-route incoming email and web traffic to their own servers, potentially impacting all of your site’s visitors.

  • Cleanup: Even after an incident has been resolved, more work is needed to ensure things are secure. It takes time and expertise.

(4) Enabling MFA has never been easier. Many popular platforms have enabled Multi-Factor Authentication for its users for free. Google, Microsoft and Amazon now include free MFA integration via a smartphone app. Even in complex business environments, other products are now available to bring MFA to your business applications and remote-access tools.

Solutions like this save businesses time, money and headaches. Solutions like this are our business. Our IT Managed Services Team exists to help organizations navigate their IT needs with industry-leading expertise and real solutions. Call Chattanooga Business Machines for a free risk assessment at 423-855-5222.

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