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A Definitive Guide to Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

multifactor authentication

It’s predicted by the year 2021, cybercrime will put a $6 trillion dent in the world’s economy. That leaves businesses falling victim to ransomware every 11 seconds. If that’s not scary enough consider how Artificial Intelligence is used in ransomware to give it super powers! 

Thankfully there are tech businesses hot on the tail of cybercrime in all it’s forms so you can protect your business, it’s data and help your staff stay safe online.

One great combatant to cybercriminal activity is multi-factor authentication (MFA). This type of security proves you’re real i.e. not a bot and the legitimate user requiring access.

MFA goes a long way in restraining thieves who view internet crimes as low-risk with a high-reward. In short, it keeps hackers from stealing your credentials. You also block cyber attackers from doing other unseemly things as well. If you’re interested in more detail on how MFA works then this article is for you. 🙂

As a business owner, protecting your company and employees is of great importance. You stop criminals in their tracks when you implement user authentication. This shuts the door on cyber intruders and their plans to interrupt the flow of your business. 

What’s meant by multi-factor authentication and why is everyone adapting it? Read on to learn everything you need to know here.

What Is Multi-Factor Authentication?

You’ve probably heard the term 2-factor authentication when signing into your email. Well, multi-factor is the same thing. 

It’s a security enhancement that requires users to use more than one form of identification. For example, when you log into an email account, you use a username and password.

With multi-factor identification, users would need to supply another piece of evidence. Your email account may text a number code to your smartphone. Once you receive the code, you’ll have to enter it in order to retrieve your emails. 

This is a great enhancement when your business uses enterprise password management

How Does MFA Work?

There’s more than one type of MFA—Application and Device MFA. Application authentication has to with a user gaining access to more than one application. Device MFA activates at a single log-in point. 

Both require authentication factors.

Before a user gains access to an application or network, they must pass identity verification. Identify verification accesses three types of authentication factors to give users a pass:

Knowledge

The knowledge factor has to do with something the user already knows. In most cases, it’s their username, password, ID numbers, SSNs, and such. Users would first use these combinations as they attempt application or device sign-in. 

Possession

Possession is something a user has—a token, device, or key. Some great examples of possession are USB devices, key fobs, and smartphones. If an MFA system sends a temporary sign-in code, the user will access the code on their phone. 

The smartphone demonstrates that the user has possession of a phone that no one else does. This helps secure identity in the verification process.

Inherent

Inherent factors have to do with who the user is, their physical body. It’s basic authentication that recognizes someone by sight or sound. Some examples include photo identification, face ID, and fingerprint scans.

Some other inherent factors include retina scans and diagnostic work like blood tests. 

Consider Enhanced Sign-on Security

Cybercrime by the numbers is frightening and ignorance is no excuse. There are many ways you can improve security when you access any site online.

Multi-factor authentication protects your private computing data and you’re no longer the weak link for cyberattackers. Consider the process and implement this enhanced feature to upgrade your internet security. While it’s easier not to do it, the cost of having MFA could be your identity.

We have more ideas, tips and information for you and your business to help you stay cyber-secure. Check out our security category for the latest tips.

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