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Everything Your Business Needs To Know About Multi-Factor Authentication

Say one of your employees falls victim to a phishing email that brings the user to a page that looks like a real Microsoft 365 login page. Your employee enters his or her’s login information. The cybercriminal now has successfully gained your employee’s credentials. Not only does the cybercriminal have access to your employee’s business email account, but also could have access to more accounts if your employee uses that same login for multiple other sites (this is called credential stuffing).

So what does a cybercriminal do after getting this information? They now can communicate with your customers and business partners acting AS your employee. They can request banking information and send phony charges to your customers, resulting in a lot of money from your customer being sent to a cybercriminal’s bank account.

Now your customers are upset with their loss and your reputation as a reliable and secure business is damaged for who knows how long.

This happens a lot!

One easy tool can stop these threats: Multi-Factor Authentication.

This article will explain in simple, non-tech jargon, what multi-factor authentication is, how it works, and what options you have for your business.

Watch Straight Edge President Doug Miller and Client Account Manager Hank Wiley discuss how to eliminate cybersecurity risk by implementing MFA.

What Is Multi-Factor Authentication?

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) ensures there is an extra level of security attached to every single log-in attempt for a user’s account. Users are alerted of any suspicious log-in attempts, and attackers are blocked from access. Sounds great, right?

MFA is recommended as the industry standard for account security. According to the Gartner Market Guide for User Authentication, by 2023, 60% of large and global enterprises and 80% of small and mid-sized businesses will use MFA to secure their data.

How Does Multi-Factor Authentication Work?

MFA double-checks your login to an application or service with a secondary means of authentication. The user will log in to their account with their username and password as normal. Then the user will be asked to verify who they are with another factor, such as a one-time password (OTP) or a fingerprint or face scan. The OTP will be sent via SMS or an authentication application.

MFA is a great security tool because it is highly unlikely that a cybercriminal will also possess your smartphone in addition to your password. 300,000,000 fraudulent log-in attempts happen each day, but the good news is that MFA can block 99.9% of attacks!

What Is At Stake?

Businesses must take preventative actions to protect their accounts from being compromised by cybercriminals. Not only is your business data at risk, but being compromised can affect your partners and customers.

If an attacker accesses a business account, they will be able to change the account password effectively locking the legitimate user out. After gaining access, it is easy for cybercriminals to impersonate the user or organization and target their customers and partners. This can lead to your customers losing their own private information or even cost them money. If this happens, your business will lose its credibility and tarnish its brand reputation.

Taking customers out of the equation, falling victim to cyber attacks causes downtime and lost profits for businesses.

What Do Businesses Need In A Multi-Factor Authentication Solution?

  • Secure and flexible authentication
    • Having an MFA solution that allows for multiple ways to authenticate users is a necessity. Different ways to authenticate include facial scan, fingerprint scan, a one-time code via e-mail or an authentication app, or even a security key for those who are not able to work with access to mobile devices.
  • Cloud-based
    • Most businesses have either fully moved to or are in the process of switching to the Cloud. Having a cloud-based MFA solution that does not require any hardware or on-premise setup will save your business time and money. Admins will be able to set up the system quicker and onboard new users easier.
  • Easy integrations
    • Finding an MFA solution that is API-based and allows for easy integrations is vital for your business. Your MFA solutions should integrate with your existing accounts and applications that you already have. API-based solutions allow users to enforce MFA and single sign-on across accounts with fewer steps and clicks. This will save your employees a lot of time and make MFA even easier to use.

How Can Your Business Upgrade To MFA?

There are many options businesses can choose from for their MFA solution. A few trusted authentication applications we as a company use are Duo and Authy.

Want support on which MFA solution is best for your business or how to implement it? Straight Edge Technology can guide you to the best solution that fits your business. Contact our team today to start protecting your private data!

At Straight Edge Technology, we offer flat-rate pricing along with personalized IT solutions tailored to your business needs. With our experienced team and comprehensive services, we’re here to support your IT infrastructure and help your business thrive. Contact us today to discuss how we can assist you with your IT needs.