Good Questions about Multifactor Authentication

By Ryan Klund - Business Development Associate

We are living in a post-password world.

Even the most secure passwords, when used on their own can be a threat to an organization’s security. Much has been written about how millions of passwords stolen each day, and people’s overall inability to treat it as a concern.

At SWICKtech we feel strongly about the cybersecurity benefits of a solution to this problem, Multifactor Authentication, and the huge increase to security that it can bring to your organization.  

What is Multifactor Authentication?

Multifactor authentication (MFA) is a cybersecurity best practice that attempts to confirm the identity of someone before giving access to an account or data.

If you've never heard of Multi-factor Authentication - I guarantee you've experienced it. If you have ever signed into an account on a website and been asked to enter a code sent to your phone as a text message, you've experienced MFA.

MFA requires at least two forms of authentication. The most common is utilizing something you know (a password) and something you have (a smartphone). Rather than just asking for a password, a user might have to provide an additional key from an application, text message, phone call, fingerprint, or facial recognition before access is granted.

Where should Multifactor Authentication be used?

Just about everywhere. In today's world there are millions of passwords stolen on a yearly basis. Also, people tend to use the same password for all their accounts. We are basically living in a world where passwords do not protect you anymore and multifactor authentication is the lowest hanging fruit to protect yourself or your company.

Nearly all accounts now have multifactor authentication as an option, including most of the personal accounts you use. At SWICKtech, we recommend that MFA be turned on – at a minimum – for decision makers at the company on all accounts that hold data (VPN, O365 and other company specific software)

Is Multifactor Authentication secure?

There are instances where accounts with MFA can still be breached, but turning on MFA for your accounts will secure you from the vast majority of common cyber-attacks. There are other steps that can be utilized, alongside MFA to improve security.

In the world we live in today, with employees working remotely and devices on numerous networks – MFA is the first step that should be implemented for an organization’s cybersecurity.

Is Multifactor Authentication a silver bullet?

No, there is no single step, action or item that can be used to guarantee security from outside threats. Multifactor authentication is a start, but not the finish line in security.

At SWICKtech, we recommend using a multilayered approach to cybersecurity and utilizing MFA for any possible account for all employees. We’d be happy to chat with you more about security and help you implement MFA today.

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