For Cyber Awareness Month, the American CISA (Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency) has defined four educational topics for discussion. These are under the “See Yourself in Cyber” theme, meaning they are under individual responsibility and possible to attain through awareness and practice.
Here are the topics:
- Recognize and Report Phishing
- Update Your Software
- Use Strong Passwords
- Enable Multifactor Authentication
Two-Factor Authentication, Multifactor Authentication, 2FA, MFA…no matter what you call it, adding a post-login procedure to validate your access is one of the most secure ways to interact with apps, websites, and anything else online.
What is Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)?
Multi-factor Authentication is necessary: data breaches are among the most prominent security concerns, causing significant financial and reputational damages to businesses and industries. The average cost of a data breach companies have to face worldwide is $3.86 million.
This cost comes with the additional burden of a tainted reputation leading to a loss of clients and partners. Since 45% of data breaches occur due to hacking attacks, password security has become a crucial part of information security.
One primary way to administer password security is through multi-factor authentication.
Benefits of Multi-factor Authentication
Multi-factor authentication plays a vital role in implementing information security. It is a practical resource against data breaches and cyber-attacks. Apart from that, Multi-factor authentication comes with numerous other benefits, such as:
- It is easy to implement.
- It protects consumer identity.
- It helps businesses meet regulatory compliance.
- It complies well with Single Sign-On (SSO) Solutions
- It is an effective solution to implementing cybersecurity.
- It ensures remote work stays secure.
- It helps simplify cloud-based data sharing and storage.
Therefore, Multi-factor authentication can be a one-time solution to many problems. Apart from imposing data security, it also helps maintain brand image and reputation.
Some Types of Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
There are various ways that you can implement MFA, such as:
One-Time Password (OTP)
This method relies on generating a one-time password at the user’s login attempt through a shared secret key through a cryptographic function such as SHA-256.
The password expires within a specific time frame and comes through a particular authentication app, email, or SMS. The user must put that code in a designated space for verification, leading to a successful login.
The push notification method relies on using a trusted device like a cellphone. This push notification connects with the service account the user is logging into, such as the Microsoft Authenticator app for outlook accounts. Once the user attempts to log in to the account, a push notification arrives at the user’s device.
The push notification is a login request containing information such as application name, OS and browser, location, and the date of the login request. The user has to accept the request, which results in a successful login.
Biometric authentication involves authentication that relies on the user’s physical makeup for authentication. It’s usually a fingerprint, iris scan, or even a face scan. Biometric authentication is by far taken as the most reliable form of security.
MFA works in a two or three-tier system and is activated once a user puts in their password. If the password is correct, the user gets directed toward a biometric authentication method requiring a fingerprint or iris scan. The user gets access if the biometric authentication is accurate. Whatsapp uses biometric authentication if you try to use WhatsApp web on your desktop.
Multi-factor authentication is a legitimate and secure way of ensuring data protection and privacy. A combination of solid passwords and Multi-factor authentication can prove to be a robust method of implementing data security. Therefore, you can take a significant step to secure your organization by implementing MFA.
We at Right-Hand believe that MFA implementation requires a cyber-aware workforce through training and comprehensive policies. When employees master the password game and understand the need for a second layer of protection, an organization mitigates most of the threats.
If you’re interested in knowing how we combine compliance and training to influence behavior and create good cyber habits, click on the button below to request your demo.