Using Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) To Protect Your Business

Posted on Sep 28, 2021
Using Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) To Protect Your Business

With each separate account requiring you to create a password, it becomes a hassle to remember several different ones, so people tend to make their passwords the same for each account. While this might be okay with a complex password, people often use a simple password that is easy for hackers to guess. An article published in Forbes reveals there were 15 billion logins stolen as a result of 100.000 breaches.

Cyber liability protection

Cyber liability insurance protection is designed to protect businesses, both large and small, from high costs due to a cyber security attack or a data breach. This form of insurance protection can pay for credit monitoring, attorney fees, court costs, and fines. In essence, it helps to cover the cost of a company breach.  Though all sizes of companies should have cyber liability protection, it is especially beneficial for small and even mid-sized companies who may not be able to withstand the costs associated with a data breach.

Cyber hackers often target those with the most sensitive information stored, including retailers, healthcare offices or hospitals, and financial institutions. These entities are targeted because they often store information such as:

  • Credit card or banking information
  • Insurance information
  • Social security numbers
  • Drivers license number
  • Personal demographics including name, email address, phone number, or physical address

Cyber-attacks affect one in three Americans every year. With more employees working from home, this number could rise even higher. Companies that utilize multi-factor authentication are less likely to experience a cyber security attack or data breach. However, if they experience an attack, having cyber liability insurance protection is ideal.

What is wrong with passwords?

These days, all online accounts require the user to create a username and password to access their information from a remote location. The problem with this is that most people create a simple, easy-to-remember password.

The Digital Guardian conducted a survey of 1,000 people regarding passwords. Of these 1,000 people, 61% reported using the same password for multiple accounts. Many admitted to keeping passwords saved in a digital file or writing them down.

People often use the following easy to guess information to create a password:

  • Family name
  • Children’s names
  • Birthdays
  • Pets

Using a simple password or the same password for different accounts is not recommended because if it is easy to remember, it is easy to guess. Hackers will gain access to your accounts by purchasing login credentials that another hacker stole or will often try the 10 most used passwords on thousands of different accounts, hoping for the best – which works in their favor most of the time.

What is multi-factor authentication?

Multi-factor authentication is a form of security technology. This highly recommended technology requires more than one authentication method from independent categories of credentials to be used to access specific information. Utilizing this security technology makes it more difficult for unauthorized people to access your personal information by creating a layered defense.

While a hacker may infiltrate one factor of authentication, such as a password, there are still one or more barriers the attacker must breach before successfully accessing the intended account information.

Top three categories of multi-factor authentication

There are three main categories utilized regarding multi-factor authentication including:

  1. Knowledge: this can include a password, PIN, or the answers to security questions
  2. Possession: a security token, smart card, or a smartphone where you would receive a login code
  3. Inherence or biometric: this category includes the use of fingerprint, a facial scan, voice print, or retina scan

The most commonly utilized form of multi-factor authentication in a business setting is a combination of a password and a text or email code. These two forms fall under the knowledge and possession categories, meaning hackers must correctly guess the set password and access the one-time code sent via text message or email.

Why use multi-factor authentication in business?

Many companies, especially healthcare and banking, store their clients’ personal and sensitive information. With working from home at an all-time high, cyber protection is one of the most important aspects of your business.

Enhance security

Multi-factor authentication forms a tighter barrier of protection around sensitive information stored by companies, whether that be client information or business information. Using more than one form of authentication needed to access information makes hackers less likely to “crack the code”.

Legal compliance

Multi-factor authentication is a mandated requirement at a federal and state level due to the amount of sensitive information to be accessed. While it is not required at a lower level in business, multi-factor authentication is highly recommended.

Easy to use

Companies and employees have several different accounts, all requiring login credentials, including a password. With multi-factor authentication, companies can utilize a “single sign-on” option. In doing so, once you are authenticated, you can access all apps within the single sign-on system without entering hundreds of passwords or the same password multiple times.

Multi-factor authentication and working from home

With the 2020 pandemic of Covid-19, more and more businesses have resorted to their employees working from home. In doing so, employers are left to hope their employees have the proper security protection software installed on their home computers. With multi-factor authentication, the added protection can give companies peace of mind.

Please contact us for more information on how to properly protect your business with cyber liability insurance.

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