Imagine not having a lock on your door. It's an open invitation for thieves to break into your home and steal your valuable possessions. Having a lock on your door provides one layer of security that burglars have to go through before they can enter your home. If you have deadbolts on top of a lock, you now have multiple layers of security that will take more time and effort to crack. Maybe we can just say This will deter burglars and discourage them from breaking into your home, thus ensuring your safety and security.
The same concept can be applied to your company's IT infrastructure. Without the necessary security protocols in place, cybercriminals can easily infiltrate your network and steal your organization's valuable data. To prevent such security incidents, it's important to use multifactor authentication (MFA).
What is multifactor authentication?
MFA is a security protocol that identifies users through two or more factors when they log in to your company's network and resources. These factors are unique to the user, such as:
- Something they have, such as a one-time passcode sent to their smartphone
- Something they know, like a password
- Something they are, like a fingerprint or a retinal scan
MFA security has become one of the most effective methods of safeguarding businesses from cybercriminals. With cyberattacks growing more sophisticated, passwords alone are not enough to keep your IT infrastructure safe. According to the 2020 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, 80% of data breaches directly resulted from weak, reused, and compromised passwords, making MFA an important security solution for businesses.
How can MFA enhance network security?
Cybercriminals have various ways of infiltrating your network and stealing your data. Phishing is one of the most common tactics they use to steal a user's login credentials. Even if your employees use complex and strong passwords, once a hacker obtains their login information through a successful phishing attack, they'll be able to breach your security and steal your data. By implementing MFA, cybercriminals need to provide additional authentication factors before they can access your network.
What are the benefits of MFA?
Using MFA provides your company with various benefits, such as:
1. Increased security
MFA improves your company's security posture. The additional authentication steps required before users can access your network can significantly reduce your risk for a data breach.
2. Keeps your company compliant
Compliance standards like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) require businesses, especially those in the healthcare industry, to safeguard personally identifiable information (PII), protected health information (PHI), and other private information.
Implementing MFA is an excellent way for companies to achieve compliance with industry standards. Even if HIPAA does not specifically require MFA, it does state the need for businesses to have a strong and secure authentication process. By complying with various security standards — state, federal, or otherwise — you're protecting your business from potential fines.
3. Simplified login processes
People may think MFA complicates the login process, but in fact, it allows businesses to leverage more advanced login solutions such as single sign-on (SSO). SSO authenticates users accessing your network via MFA. Once users are authorized, they automatically gain access to other applications associated with their SSO profile.
Implementing MFA is the first step to safeguarding your network from cyber threats. The next step is partnering with a reliable managed IT services provider like Complete Document Solutions. Our cybersecurity services are designed to protect your company against data breaches and other cyberthreats. Our free eBook “3 Essential Types of Cybersecurity Solutions Your Business Must Have” will provide you with a clear understanding of why a solid cybersecurity posture is vital for your business. Download it now.