MFA Is Not a Swear Word: The Benefits of Multi-Factor Authentication

September 18th, 2017 by admin

There are some words considered too vulgar, heinous or dastardly to say in the workplace without causing a scene or bringing the judgement of your peers – “Multi-Factor Authentication” is quickly becoming three of them. As annoying as MFA can be, the truth is MFA can be your BFF and we can tell you why... In recent years, the use of Multi-Factor Authentication has been steadily increasing. In 2015, 66% of businesses were using MFA in some capacity and in 2016 that number increased to 93%. If you work, and you live in America, chances are you use (and curse) MFA regularly. To answer the question on everyone’s mind, here are a few reasons (some of which are even good ones) that everyone can benefit from MFA:

Higher Level Security

Remember the days when you could set your password as five random characters and probably be okay? Well, hackers have gotten smarter, computers have gotten smarter, and fortunately, security has also gotten smarter. Password complexity is a great tool to prevent your password from being easily guessed or hacked, but it can only prevent so much. The most complicated password in the world is just as easy for phishing (scamming) or keylogging (spying) to steal. However, if a system requires a physical trigger (like access to a phone) in tandem with the password...well now we're talking. That means in order for your password to be used against you, the hacker would have to physically steal your phone as well. Since that can’t be done from the hacker’s natural habitat of a dark and damp Mountain Dew can Hobbit hole, you’re relatively safe.

Easier Security

You may not realize it, but MFA makes your life a whole lot easier. Not because pulling out your phone every time you log in is fun, but because it’s a lot more fun than the alternatives. With MFA you can usually configure your security to not require a lot of lockouts during the day. You may have to pull out your phone and type a code, but at least you don’t have to login 50 times a day. In addition to making things easier for users, it keeps things more secure on the backend. Some very important security features, like firewalls, need to have quick and daily access to them by IT professionals, but if the wrong person gets in there it would be a disaster. MFA is a stronger form of security, which makes management of certain features and access to them less of a headache. MFA gets a bad rap because it seems like an annoying extra step for an invisible benefit. In reality, MFA is a security shortcut designed to make high-level security easy. Without MFA, you are vulnerable to more scams and attacks, or you are constantly being locked out and having to look over your shoulder in matters of cyber security. With any luck, knowing a bit about MFA will make it less obnoxious!   Kender Ostlund

Posted in: Protection, Security, Tech Tips