Your business data is at risk more than ever. If your password is weak, can easily be guessed, or is the same for multiple websites, hackers can steal your data and sell it to your competitors.
Data is the most valuable resource in the knowledge economy, so everyone from Google to small businesses in Huntsville need to protect their customer data at all costs. One of the easiest things you can do to protect your data is implement multi-factor authentication for your employees’ logins, which makes it much harder for their accounts to be hacked.
What is Multi-factor Authentication?
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a simple but effective way to keep employees’ accounts secure. It is a security system that requires users to verify their identity by inputting more than just a password. Think of it as installing double locks on your store’s front door for added safety. Even if an outsider has a key, they cannot enter since there’s another lock and the door can only be opened from the inside.
MFA generally requires two pieces of unique information, but some may ask users to provide three or four types of information before logging them in. Here are some of the ways MFA verifies a person's identity:
- A code is sent by the system the user is attempting to access, to their mobile device, to be entered into the system within a few minutes. Users must enter the code sent to their mobile device on another computer within a few minutes or authentication is denied.
- A password or pin code must be entered into the system. Users should be given a limited number of chances to input the correct combination, or the system will alert the system administrator of possible hacking.
- A fingerprint or facial scan must be performed with a built-in fingerprint scanner or the device’s camera. Users’ biometric details are scanned, and the system tries to find a match in its database. Only when a match is found will the user be granted access.
An outsourced IT provider can help you implement MFA, but it's important to understand why you need it. Here are the top three ways it will benefit your business.
Heightened data security
Multi-factor authentication cross-checks the identity of anyone accessing your confidential business files to make sure only authorized people can see them. It also provides another layer of protection on top of passwords. This simple solution goes a long way toward preventing data breaches.
It might seem that multiple steps in the authentication process would make logging in to apps and systems more complicated and time consuming, but this is a misconception. MFA actually streamlines the verification process by lessening the dependence on memory.
Your systems can also be programmed to ask for authentication only when they detect login attempts from new devices or locations. This means that all the people and devices that have logged in before will not be asked to login again, saving time without compromising security.
If you take a lax approach to security today, you'll pay for it tomorrow. By implementing multi-factor authentication, you take care of any future security issues before they even arise, including infection by malicious software leading to data loss and regulatory non-compliance. For example, dozens of Huntsville small businesses need to follow the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement, which requires MFA. Moreover, even if you don't need to be compliant, the National Institute of Standards and Technology recommends that every business applies MFA to all their online accounts.
It goes without saying that installing MFA requires a professional hand, so only entrust your business to a reliable IT solutions provider.
F1 Solutions offers specialized and responsive IT solutions for businesses in the Hunstville and Madison areas. Get in touch with our experts today, and let’s discover which multi-factor authentication setup is right for you.