Companies across the world are embracing the Anywhere Operations model and its benefits for business. However, a greater reliance on remote workforces has introduced more cyber incidents, which top the Allianz Risk Barometer at 44% (followed by Business Disruptions at 42% and Natural Disasters at 25%). Risk leaders understand that data protection must be one of their top priorities.
Allowing your staff to work-from-anywhere to serve customers everywhere necessitates secure remote access. Let's explore how multi-factor authentication (MFA) safeguards your operations, allowing you to shield your business cyber attacks.
What is Multi-Factor Authentication?
Multi-factor authentication (or MFA) is a cybersecurity technology solution for verifying every user’s identity at log-in or before conducting a transaction. MFA relies on independent groups of credentials to authenticate users.
A common MFA use case would be financial institutions allowing customers to access their accounts with a username and password, but then mandating a second form of authentication with facial scan recognition before approving transactions. Similarly, you can implement an additional round of user authentication for employees attempting to access company systems from public or off-domain locations. Healthcare organizations trigger MFA to verify legitimate log-in attempts when vendors sign into their portals from unknown devices.
Common authentication factors include:
- What the user knows (like your unique password)
- What the user has (for example, a security token or physical access card)
- What the user is (such as using biometric verification methods)
Multi-factor authentication is a layered defense mechanism to stop unauthorized access to your business network. Even if one defense layer fails, other barriers exist to block and repel cybercriminals in order to avoid a data breach.
Why Do You Need MFA?
According to the Identity Theft Resource Center's 2021 Data Breach Report, data breaches reached a record breaking 68% increase YoY. The average cost of a data breach also stood at its highest in 2021 at $4.24 million. Combined with the increase in remote work, safe access to company resources is essential.
User ID and password logins can be easily exposed, which is why strong password security practices are critical. Brute-force attacks are also quite common. Hackers use automated password cracking tools to rapidly generate combinations of usernames and passwords until they find the correct sequence.
Although you can set accounts to lock after a fixed number of incorrect login attempts, cybercriminals often have alternate means to breach a system. Therefore, multi-factor authentication protects access to your network and mitigates your cybersecurity risks. Your multi-layered defenses are paramount in keeping your business safe from nefarious actors.
Top Benefits of MFA for Business
Multi-factor authentication offers several advantages:
- MFA is easy to implement and integrate with your existing resources
- Most multi-factor authentication is cloud-based, so you won’t need to buy equipment or pay for staff to monitor it
- It adds extra layers of security at the hardware, software, and personal ID levels
- MFA generates and sends one-time passwords (OTPs) to a mobile device in real-time, making it more challenging to hack.
- Multi-factor authentication may decrease the possibility of comprised identity by up to 99.9% over the standard username and password login
- MFA grants the ability to restrict access for a time of day or location
- MFA is scalable, making high-impact tools affordable for businesses of all sizes
Get Help With Your Cybersecurity Coverage
Multi-factor authentication builds business resilience, especially for Anywhere Operations. Net Friends is your trusted IT partner for managed infrastructure services to support and secure your operations. Our team of experts will also help you perform a comprehensive risk assessment to improve your IT strategy and even get the cybersecurity insurance you need. Contact us today to secure your company’s operations and boost your profits.
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