Most of us only use five or fewer passwords for all the applications and services we use. That includes both work related and personal apps and services. And most of avoid creating complex passwords unless we are forced to. This makes leaves us very susceptible to hackers. It makes it easy for a hacker to break a user’s password and have access all the applications and services used. This is where MFA comes in. MFA adds extra layers of security which make sit harder for cybercriminals to hack into user accounts.
What Is MFA?
Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is a security tool that allows organizations or individuals to add extra layers of protection when logging onto a website or application. Instead of only using a username and password, users can use MFA to further secure their accounts.
How Does It Work?
MFA uses devices, PIN codes, location, and biometrics to provide extra layers of security. The most common MFA factor is OTP (one-time PIN). Users enter their usernames and passwords. They then receive an OTP on one of their devices. These PINs usually expire within a 60 second timeframe.
There are three main MFA authentication methods:
A user needs to provide something they know, which could be an OTP. It could also be a list of security questions a user needs to answer.
This is when a user needs to have a specific device in their possession to authenticate a login. They could use an authenticator app like Microsoft Authenticator, Duo, Authy or Google Authenticator to get OTPs from a mobile app. Users can also opt for SMS and email OTPs.
Users providing usernames and passwords with an OTP is only two layers of authentication. This is Two-Factor Authentication (2FA). For MFA, a user needs to provide something they have. This could be a fingerprint, voice, or iris scanning.
Why Is Multi-Factor Authentication Important?
MFA mitigates the risk of enterprise or private users’ vulnerability to brute force cyberattacks. It is more difficult for a hacker to gain access to an MFA user’s account because they would need a user’s password and one of their devices (usually their mobile phone).
Users should always use MFA processes to access their sensitive information and accounts (medical and banking records).
Businesses need to do everything they can to protect their data and to provide tools for their employees to help them protect the organization against cyberattacks. They need to make it harder for the cybercriminals. MFA is one way to protect your business against attacks.
Contact your local MicroAge to learn more about MFA.