What is MFA and Why do you NEED it?

By Ryan Kononoff
June 2, 2021

Posted in Cyber Security

What if you could prevent 99.9% of all attacks on your user accounts?

Sound too good to be true? It’s not.

It’s called MFA – or Multi-Factor Authentication – and today I’m going to show you WHAT MFA is and WHY you need to start using it today.

WHAT IS MFA?

MFA drastically improves the security of any asset, digital or physical, by requiring 2 or more unique forms of verification BEFORE access is granted.

It’s actually not a new concept! Here’s some places that have been using different forms of MFA for years:

  1. Banks
  2. Workplaces
  3. Your home

For example, to access your safety deposit box at the bank, you need to prove who you are by using something you physically have—the key to the box—AND something that proves physically who you are, like a drivers license.

For your home or workplace, you probably need to prove who you are by using something you physically have—a key—AND something you know—a pin code to disarm the alarm [show someone disarming alarm].

WHY IS MFA BETTER?

You’re probably using strong AND unique passwords on every site you log into.

Unfortunately, even if you DO use strong AND unique passwords on every site, the complexity or uniquenaess of your password ACTUALLY DOESN’T MATTER. Microsoft published a study in 2019 where it was revealed that the complexity or uniqueness of your password truly doesn’t matter because you, someone else, or your system already gave your password—your keys—away, enabling a hacker to come and go as they please.

THAT’S NO EXCUSE to use simple passwords, like “1234”: a unique password is STILL a strong password. It’s just better backed up with MFA.

And if you find that hard to believe, a separate study published in 2020 found that 1 in 8 employees GAVE THEIR PASSWORDS AWAY through a phishing attack. One in EIGHT! So if that isn’t you, it might just be the person sitting next to you.

THE LONG AND SHORT OF IT

MFA is better because it takes a trust-no-one-thing approach. MFA guarantees that before access is granted to ANY of YOUR data, YOU really ARE you thanks to multiple verifications.

So now that you know that your data and systems are vulnerable without MFA in place, it’s time to invest in enabling MFA on every online user account you have. 

Need help securing your systems and data? Talk to us—we’re experts on MFA and would love to talk to you more about how MFA can help to protect your organization.