What is Multi-Factor Authentication, and Why Should You be Using It?

In the UK, a cyberattack occurs every 39 seconds. The threat is constant, so much so that it should be an essential part of your IT security regime to protect any insecure usernames and passwords.

So, what does multi-factor authentication do? Well, it provides an added layer of security that goes above and beyond what any password can do.

Read on to find out everything you need to know about why you should be using multi-factor authentication.

What is multi-factor authentication?

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a method of logging into accounts using multiple different methods of authentication. To put it simply, it’s extending the logging-in process beyond just one simple password, ensuring your account remains protected. MFA usually requires that you provide more information, or take a certain action. This can be anything from scanning your fingerprint to entering a code sent to your phone.

Having different factors of authentication means that if one of the factors was compromised – for example, your password appearing in a data leak, then no one would automatically be able to access your account as they would still need to bypass the MFA. Read more about protecting your business against a disaster.

How does multi-factor authentication work?

Authentication factors usually require something from the three following categories such as:

Knowledge you possess

If you spend any time on the internet, you’ve likely come across this form of authentication. The knowledge you possess can consist of a password, a PIN code or a memorable word/question, for example, “The name of your first pet”.

This type of authentication provides average security, but when using an MDA you should always use this alongside another factor, as these types of authentication can all be discovered or stolen.

Something you have

This means a physical object, for example, a code sent to your phone, or an MFA app that gives you a specific code every time you want to log in.

Odds are, your password being hacked and your phone is stolen by the same person are very slim. Take cash machines as an example. Someone can steal your wallet, but they wouldn’t have access to your account as they’d need your pin.

Something biometric

This can mean anything that biologically identifies you, such as your fingerprint or, most commonly used, facial recognition.

What is two-factor authentication?

Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a form of MFA where two different types of authentication are required. Multi-factor authentication is an umbrella term for anything that requires more than two different forms of authentication.

Why should you use multi-factor authentication?

Most cyberattacks are due to stolen credentials. Something as simple as using the same password, or variations of the same password on lots of different accounts can put you at risk of attack. If a single one of your accounts is breached, it makes it very easy for hackers to access your other accounts.

Since it requires at least one more form of authentication, MFA makes it much harder for criminals to get access to your accounts. We can help with your security and ensure you are 2Fa ready, read more about the importance of a local IT Support provider.

When should you use multi-factor authentication?

Pretty much any time you are using passwords, pin codes, or something similar to secure an account, you should be using MFA. MFA offers additional security no matter the circumstances, making it much more difficult for someone to gain access to your account.

Synergy UK can help you with MFA today

Implementing multi-factor authentication to your business’s online services might require help from an IT professional. We have worked with many of our clients to enable MFA for their services. We are your local IT Support Sheffield provider.

The installation of multi-factor authentication to online services within your business might require your IT helpdesk. We have worked with many of our clients already to set up MFA within their companies to provide an added layer of protection.

Two things to consider when initiating the use of MFA within your business:

  • How your multi-factor token replacement process verifies that the user is who they say they are.
  • How administrators can gain access to a service if MFA becomes unavailable for any reason.

Initiate the use of MFA today

Here at Synergy UK, our expert team can advise you and support you throughout the MFA process, click here to contact us. You and your employees can rest easy in the knowledge that your accounts are protected. Our leading IT security service will ensure you have a system in place that helps prevent data breaches and cyberattacks.

To find out more about our cyber security services, call 0114 221 6569 today!

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