What Is Multi-Factor Authentication?

Even if you’ve never enabled it, you might be familiar with the idea of multi-factor authentication (MFA), a login security feature offered by a range of different services. Do you know why you should have it enabled?

What Is Multi-Factor Authentication & Why Do You Need It?

Even if you’ve never enabled it, you might be familiar with the idea of multi-factor authentication (MFA), a login security feature offered by a range of different services. Do you know why you should have it enabled?

Online services from email clients and financial websites to social network platforms and more offer the ability to enable MFA to better secure your accounts and data. This is a great way to add an extra layer of protection to the existing system and account logins.

Have you harnessed MFA to enhance your cybersecurity yet?

How Does MFA Work?

When you log in to an account that has MFA enabled, in addition to entering your password, you must either enter in an added generated code, or authorize login with a “push” request to a secondary device.

In the event your password is compromised, your account can remain secure as the cybercriminal is unable to authenticate the secondary requirement.

There is a range of options for generating the MFA codes:

  • Receiving a text message
  • Using a dedicated authenticator application
  • Possessing a physical device on which you must push a button to verify that you are the authorized user of that account

Why Is MFA A Necessary Security Layer?

At the latest RSA security conference, Microsoft engineers told attendees that 99.9% of the accounts that are compromised each month don’t have a multi-factor authentication solution enabled.

That’s why you need to disable legacy authentication protocols and update to one that supports MFA. Microsoft notes that doing has resulted in a 67% reduction in breaches. They also provide a built-in MFA feature, called Microsoft Authenticator.

And don’t assume you’re off the hook if you’re not a Microsoft user. While the above stat only refers to Microsoft accounts, the same rule applies to other services too — MFA is the simplest way to vastly increase your level of security.

Why Is MFA So Beneficial?

If you’ve hesitated to enable MFA for your accounts because it seems too complicated or too fiddly for everyday use, you should know that the benefits greatly outstrip the perceived annoyance.

The protection that MFA adds allows you use your passwords for a longer length of time between password resets, and in the event that your service provider is compromised and your email and password end up in an open database on the open web, you will have time to change your password before your individual account is compromised.

You may not necessarily need MFA for every account you use — but for your email accounts, financial services, and work-related accounts, if MFA is an option, you should enable it.

If it’s not an option, you should ask yourself, and perhaps the service itself, why you would keep using a service that doesn’t offer an easy step to keep your data secure.

Outsource IT Solutions Group Will Help You Better Secure Your Accounts

If you’re unsure about how to implement a multi-factor authentication solution, don’t try to handle it all on your own. Outsource IT Solutions Group will help you evaluate your password practices and security measures as a whole to make sure you’re not taking on any unnecessary risks.