SPOT Cybersecurity Tip: Top 6 Reasons for Multi-Factor Authentication

Cybersecurity Tip from The Fulcrum Group
Click to read more SPOT Cybersecurity Tips on LinkedIn.

According to Microsoft, Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) prevents 99.9% of automated assaults on its platforms, websites, and online services. It also found that MFA wasn’t implemented by 99.9% of accounts that had been hacked.

Microsoft’s numbers speak for themselves. Here are our top 6 reasons to adopt MFA in your business today.

  1. It can protect your business from weak passwords – We talk about this all the time – weak employee passwords simply won’t cut it. But a recent study showed that, still, passwords like ‘123456’ and ‘Passw0rd’ are amongst the most commonly used. Yikes! Weak passwords open the door to all kinds of data breaches. And 80% of hacking-related breaches involved passwords in some way. MFA prevents this. Even if a cybercriminal steals your password, they won’t have access to MFA – i.e. your authentication app on your smart phone or your biometrics such as your fingerprint.
  2. It prevents other methods of password theft – Even if a criminal can’t break into your network to steal passwords, they have other methods that are equally successful. ‘Phishing’ attacks trick victims into giving away sensitive information using scam emails, SMS, or phone calls. And ‘pharming’ involves redirecting a website’s traffic to a fake site, run by the criminals, where they steal data or install malware. So even if you’re tricked into entering credentials in this way, the fraudsters still won’t be able to access your accounts without having access to your MFA. And you’ll be alerted to the fact you’ve been scammed a lot sooner, as you won’t be presented with the authentication stage of the login process.
  3. It makes using unmanaged devices more secure – Ideally, all your remote and hybrid workers will be working on corporate-owned secure devices and Internet connections, using cybersecurity that’s managed by your IT team. But be honest – how many times have you logged into your email account over the weekend using your personal laptop? It might feel harmless, but it could allow an intruder to not only access your unmanaged device, but also your router, and eventually the company network. If you use MFA you can be less concerned about a cybercriminal gaining access in this way, thanks to the additional layers of security.
  4. It allows your other security tools to perform properly – If a criminal steals login credentials, they can bypass antivirus software and firewalls in the same way that an authorized employee could – with a bit of knowledge. This allows them to disarm your security and wreak havoc, all without you noticing anything is amiss. With MFA in place, this can’t happen. Cybercriminals can’t use stolen credentials to access your network, because they don’t have the ability to pass these second and even third identity checks. MFA can also act as an alert that your accounts are at risk. If someone attempts to log in, you’ll receive a secondary authorization prompt that you didn’t request. This can be immediately reported to ensure everything is safe and sound.
  5. It keeps you compliant – When you handle and store sensitive data, your business must comply with local laws that state you need strong authentication processes in place. MFA is a strong tool to keep the private data of customers, suppliers, and employees out of the wrong hands. Also, many Cyber Insurance carriers require MFA before they will extend coverage.
  6. It can save a lot of stress – There’s always something to worry about as a business owner. Putting strong security measures like MFA in place can take a lot of weight off your shoulders. You can stop worrying about cyber scams, unauthorized devices connecting to your network, and weak passwords. Better still, there’s less chance of an employee making an innocent mistake and revealing their credentials to a fake login site (we still highly recommend regular cyber security awareness training though!). You can worry less about downtime caused by a cyber incident, as well as the huge costs involved with dealing with it. And you can relax about safely offering your people the flexibility to work remotely.

Want to learn more about why MFA is so important? Read our comprehensive guide on why all businesses should adopt MFA NOW.