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Why Is Multi-Factor Authentication Important?

On the internet today, you can’t take security seriously enough. Using the internet requires putting personal data out there in a way that can easily compromise your security and identity, and whether you are an individual, a small business, or a large corporation, taking steps to prevent the wrong people from getting that information is more important than ever.

The most fundamental level of security that is used across the internet is the username and password, but there are flaws with this security set up. For one thing, usernames and passwords are used for just about everything you can think of on the internet, from where you go to read the news and social media accounts to online shopping centers and just about everything in between. In the name of simplification and keeping your mind organized, many people will opt to use the same username and password across just about all of their online accounts, which means that places you go to do some basic online shopping may have the same login credentials as your most private financial information.

From a corporate perspective, the regular re-using of usernames and passwords can cause a major security risk for your business, as employees could unwittingly be handing over their personal password information to hackers through sites that they visit, and then those hackers could easily use that information to gain access to your corporate data.

This is why the use of two-step or multi-factor authentication is so important, especially for Kingston businesses. Multi-factor authentication is just another step that ought to be taken as part of a comprehensive online security system to protect your business from malware attacks.

Multi Factor Authentication

What is Multi-Factor Authentication?

Multi-factor authentication is the best way to increase the quality of your online security by ensuring that there are multiple steps that any user needs to take to access data. This creates a natural barrier that can help prevent malware attacks on your corporate data by requiring users to input multiple stages of personal information before they get past your firewall. The use of MFA (multi-factor authentication) incorporates the use of two or more independent means of evidence, which are the factors, to ensure that only an authorized user is accessing the information.

The reality is that many log-ins can be easily compromised in a matter of mere minutes by talented cybercriminals who may be after your corporate data. This means that both personal data and your corporate data could be under threat, and a single stolen password could put a great deal of your information at enhanced risk. A security breach like this could lead to major financial penalties, and this can be incredibly hard on a business to manage.

Multifactor authentication helps to enhance corporate security by requiring users to undergo multiple security checks before they are able to access private data. This could include multiple passwords, the use of security questions, biometric data such as a fingerprint, facial scan or optical scan, or even a texted code to a registered number.

The most common type of multi-factor authentication is two-factor authentication, which is often referred to as 2FA. This type of multi-factor authentication typically uses a basic username and password protection followed by a second layer of security.

There are three categories that multi-factor authentication utilizes. These include something you have, something you are, or something you know.

These include:

  • Something you have: This includes a smartphone, token, or even an ID or badge. This type of authentication will require you to input a code or connect a token that only the person who has the authority to reach that data should have access to.
  • Something you are: This includes biometric data information, like a fingerprint, a retinal scan, or even a voice pattern.
  • Something you know: This is the most common type of authentication and includes something like a password, a personal pin code, or a security question. This information is supposed to be kept incredibly private, but since it is something that can easily be shared by word of mouth it is typically the least secure of the three multi-authentication security options.

Taking advantage of more secure and advanced security options is something that everyone should be considering with their online data, but this decision is especially important for corporations. Corporations are responsible for dealing with a great deal of private data, from employee information to client data, and an attack on any of this information can lead to a great deal of trouble, from damage to your company’s reputation to large fines for the mishandling of personal information. Investing in basic security measures to help prevent giving hackers easy access to your corporate data can help to keep your Kingston business up and running and will help ensure that your company is trusted by your employees and clients alike as you take the needed steps to keep data secure.