Top 3 Reasons You Should Use Multi-Factor Authentication
When Walls Aren’t Enough
If you had to draw a visual representation of computer security, you’d probably draw something that looks like a wall. Bad guys on one side, your data and information on the other. We know terms like “firewall” and “anti-virus software” so the idea of a wall is mostly accurate. If you’re standing behind a wall, you feel safe. But if you take a step back, you can see that the wall is only so high and so wide and that hackers and other cyber criminals are always looking for new ways to get over, under, or around it.
The same is true for your computer security. Experts are constantly improving security software, but as we’ve mentioned in our previous posts, criminals are also becoming better at bypassing those systems. The most common way to get in is right through the front door. They steal elements of your identity like your username and password or social security number, then can waltz into the account or network, unnoticed until it’s too late.
Identify Theft: A Low Effort, High Reward Crime
Identity theft is a relatively low-effort, high-reward crime. Normal, everyday activities provide dozens of opportunities for thieves to steal your usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, or social security number. Once the information has been acquired, they use it fast and then vanish. These criminals are looking for a quick payoff and don’t want to be involved very long. The longer they have your information, and the more times they try to use it, the greater the risk that they get caught. It’s a numbers game. They cast a wide net and only pursue the leads that turn into fast cash. They’re more like pickpockets than con-men.
How Multi-Factor Authentication Works
Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is a security system that requires more than one method of identification to verify a user’s identity. The most common approach is to use a phone number for confirmation. When you set up an account, the system will ask you to add your phone number to your profile. Then, when you try to sign into your account, a verification code is sent to that phone number so that you can provide secondary confirmation that you’re the one entering your username and password. If someone tries to sign in without access to your phone, they won’t be able to log in.
That throws a big hurdle in the path of the type of cyber criminals who run at the first sign of trouble. As we mentioned, a hacker may be able to steal your username and password, but very few are going to go through the effort of hacking into your phone too. When a MFA system makes them provide additional identity verification, they move on to an easier opportunity.
Why We Take Cyber Security So Seriously
You know those terrible infomercials that make mountains out of molehills and then sell you a solution that you didn’t need in the first place? Cyber Security is not one of those things. It’s a very big problem that is growing very fast. The cost of cyber crime is expected to double between 2015 and 2021, from $3 Trillion, up to $6 Trillion, globally. Opportunities are also expanding. As more people work from home or other remote locations, more organizations are offering remote login capabilities. These make it easier for criminals to steal your employees’ identity and breach your system. You might be tempted to think that your small business or school isn’t big enough to be a target. And it’s true that only big corporations make headlines in the event of a security breach. But about one-third of all attacks happen on small organizations too. No one is off limits for cyber criminals.
Our Top Three Reasons For Using Multi-Factor Authentication
There are many reasons to implement MFA for your business-critical systems, but these are our top three:
1. Multi-Factor Authentication Is An Easy Deterrent
As we mentioned, identify theft is a low-effort, high-reward enterprise. Identity thieves are primarily looking for easy targets to snatch and grab. If you increase the amount of effort required by asking for a second form of identification, especially one as protected as your phone, they’ll move on to an easier target. By adding MFA to your system, you greatly increase the amount of effort required, and their risk of being caught, so it acts as an easy, powerful deterrent.
2. Identity Theft Is The Most Prevalent Form of Cyber Crime
Weak or stolen user credentials, usernames and passwords, are the most common tools used by cyber criminals. They’re the hacker weapon of choice. In fact, breaches caused by some form of identity theft account for 95% of all attacks. That means that a huge number of Cyber Security breaches can be prevented by adding a second layer of protection on top of your traditional username and password. When you use MFA, you can help compensate for weak passwords and block an overwhelming majority of threats.
3. MFA Is Already a Familiar Security Method
Many employers, financial firms, and social media companies have already added MFA to their systems and require users to use MFA to access their personal accounts. In other words, your employees are already used to it, so adding MFA to your system won’t cause any confusion for your staff.
Set Up Multi-Factor Authentication Today
It’s always better to add security measures before an attack instead of after one. Don’t get burned before you take the threat seriously. Give us a call to learn how and where multi-factor authentication could help protect the data that your business or school needs to operate. Our Client Solutions team will take you through a robust security analysis and then guide you through the recommended implementation. It’s extremely easy to set up so there’s no reason to wait. Call or message us today!