This is the latest installment of our Cybersecurity Awareness Month series of blog articles designed to give you helpful tips and best practices to keep your data safe from harm. Previous editions:
- How to Truly “See Yourself in Cyber”: Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2022
- Passwords Shouldn’t Be as Easy as 1-2-3-4
- 11 Ways to Avoid Getting Hooked by Phishing Attacks
- 3 Steps to Ace Software Updates and Keep Your Information Secure
As we continue to commemorate Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2022, another seemingly simple but extremely effective way you can play your part to secure your data from cyberattacks is through the use of Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). Studies from Microsoft and others have found that those who enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) on their accounts can prevent 99.9% of account-compromising attacks. Given that cybercrime is up 600% following the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, implementing MFA will be another layer of security to prevent and delay hackers from getting in and stealing your precious personal data.
For a primer on what MFA is and how you can implement it in your Microsoft environment, we encourage you to check out our recent blog post on the topic. As a refresher, we typically use usernames and passwords to access our accounts. However, passwords often leave many vulnerabilities exposed, so adding another layer of security in the form of another verification method–MFA–is used by many services today.
Using MFA will enable a more secure login attempt and help verify if the proper user is the one accessing their account. Furthermore, this will ensure that systems being accessed are accessed by authorized users which can help prevent insider threats and mitigate the risk of information going to the wrong person.
What makes MFA effective is that it consists of a combination of two factors not easily duplicated:
- Something you know – These are your passwords or Personal Identification Numbers (PIN)
- Something you have – A smartphone or a secure USB key
- Something you are – Your fingerprint or facial recognition
The threat of not offering MFA for your organizations’ systems is significant – of those who reported having their accounts compromised, more than 99.9% of them did not have MFA enabled. Here are some steps to ensure you effectively implement MFA protocols into your technology and processes:
- Keep in mind the authentication method should not be too complicated for your organizations’ employees.
- Use a variety of authentication factors – such as security questions or SMS/text messages.
- Combine MFA with other security solutions such as single sign-on (SSO) and least privilege access.
- Conduct regular assessments to ensure your MFA technology continues to meet the needs of not only your users but of the organization as a whole.
To learn more about how we place safety at the heart of our customers and our people, visit the AvePoint Trust Center.