Why Does My Business Need Multi-Factor Authentication?

Why Does My Business Need Multi-Factor Authentication?

The pandemic has caused a drastic increase in cyber-attacks since the beginning of the outbreak, meaning it has never been more crucial for businesses to take proactive steps to secure their data. 

While IT professionals and service providers have been working hard to protect businesses from the threats, it is always recommendable to increase the level of security by implementing a multi-factor authentication system. 

Here’s what you need to know about MFA, how it works, and how it can protect your business:  

How Does MFA Work?

A multi-factor authentication system is a two-step process that is required for a user to access a device or password. While any user can take advantage of MFA, businesses benefit from company-wide implementation of MFA to protect their company-owned data,  applications, documents, and systems. 

Multi-factor authentication (sometimes called two-factor authentication) uses two pieces of information to secure your accounts. These can be a combination of any of the following:

  • Something the user has (a code or app on your smartphone, a physical card)
  • Something the user “is” (biometric characteristics such as fingerprints, face ID, or voice recognition)
  • Something the user knows (like a password or a PIN)
  • Somewhere the user is (GPS or coordinates)

One example of two-step authentication is the one proposed by ATMs, where you have to present a card (something you have) and a PIN (something you know). Another example might be your banking login on a smartphone, which generally requires both a password and a face ID or fingerprint.

How to Set Up MFA

Depending on the system you are using, the steps to set up a multi-factor authentication system are pretty simple, although they can vary slightly. 

Microsoft, for example, offers a step-by-step guide to set up an MFA through their software. However, if you wish to find a more specific set-up method that is better suited to your company’s internal needs or can work across several departments, you might need to employ the services of an IT professional.

Other Cybersecurity Measures Businesses Should Take

While highly effective, MFAs are not the only way to protect your company’s data, documents, services, and procedures. Here is an overview of additional steps you can take to prevent cyber-attacks within your company:

  • Install firewalls and antivirus software to protect your devices at a basic level.
  • Hire a reliable IT provider. Managed IT services are extremely helpful in creating a security strategy that is completely customized and can fend off a variety of advanced attacks.
  • Establish data encryption and a VPN if you are working remotely but typically rely on in-house servers.
  • Take advantage of cloud security solutions if you store data in a public or private cloud. 

As you consider these strategies for securing your data—including the all-important MFA—your business can better defend against attacks and keep your valuable information safe. Even though hacking attempts are increasing, there are still several ways your business can increase its security to outmatch these attempts.