<img src="https://secure.leadforensics.com/133892.png" alt="" style="display:none;">

At the end of my recent webinar on cybersecurity, I shared five things you can do to immediately reduce your exposure to cyberthreats.

These include simple steps such as getting your software patches up to date and insuring your backups are running and can be successfully restored. As a bonus sixth recommendation, I mentioned multi-factor authentication (MFA).

For many, this is a new term, so I wanted to take the time to dig into this and give a more thorough understanding of the concept, the benefits, and how you can integrate this into your IT security strategy.

Multi-factor authentication (sometimes referred to as 2FA, or two-factor authentication) identifies users by validating two or more pieces of information (factors). Factors fall into three categories: 

  • Knowledge: Something you know
    • Most common form of authentication
    • Typically, a password or a PIN
  • Possession: Something you have
    • Can be a smartcard, USB stick with a token, hardware key fob, or commonly a one-time SMS code sent to your cell phone
    • Example of common MFA requiring possession is using a bankcard with your PIN to withdraw money at an ATM
  • Inherence: Something you are
    • Primarily biometrics (fingerprint, voice, iris, facial recognition)
    • Least common, but growing method

The impetus behind MFA is that there is no perfect authentication method. A single authentication factor will have weaknesses which are compensated for by adding an additional authentication factor. In other words, if your password is compromised, the second, uncompromised, factor will thwart any cyberattack until the password can be reset. The enhanced security of this approach is pretty obvious, especially when you move beyond two factors, but what does this mean to your business from a practical standpoint?

It’s not surprising that the one common vulnerability that every business or organization shares, exactly matches the most common attack vectors used by cybercriminals.

Phishing emails, and socially engineered attacks target the human element of the security chain, often with devastating results. By incorporating MFA into your security plan, you directly address this weakness by creating additional obstacles for your attackers to overcome. It’s a simple change with a big security payoff and it’s significantly less likely that you will suffer a breach if additional authentication factors exist.

Although it may sound complex or burdensome to implement, there are actually a large number of solutions available to implement multi-factor authentication, some at a very reasonable cost. When coupled with single sign-on (SSO) and self-service password reset, MFA becomes a productivity as well as a security asset.

No single solution will ever make your business completely secure but adding MFA can strengthen your security posture without radically changing the way you do business.

There are few ways more effective to reduce your risk of a cyberattack and limit your exposure to the most common attack vectors. Let us know if you want to explore MFA, or other security options available from Columbus.

50% off security assessment with columbus


Discuss this post

Recommended posts

The adage ‘one size fits all’ doesn’t apply to cloud computing. To get the best value out of a Cloud solution, it is necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of current solutions, identify the business objectives these solutions are failing to meet, and evaluate those results to define a Cloud solution that best suits your organization and its goals.
Your post-implementation ERP support might be a mess... Too often in a sales cycle, prospective customers are sold one of two models for post implementation support. Either you’re told that the original implementation team will always be available for support, or that you will be transferred to a dedicated support team that will handle all your requests. Neither is an ideal solution — here’s why.
A fly in the ointment As we move beyond the Information Age into the Digital Age, manufacturers are being challenged to envision and deploy new digital technologies to maintain competitiveness, improve performance and enhance relevance with their customers. A major point of resistance to achieving this digital future, is the antiquated and isolated ERP systems that are the backbone of these businesses. If your ERP system doesn’t support changing manufacturing methods, interactivity with the plethora of emerging services on the digital web, or connectivity to the assets and systems being empowered by the Internet of Things (IoT), what is a manufacturer to do? The likely answer is that your ERP system must be replaced before these other key elements of a digital transformation can be pursued. 
Ransomware attacks are the existential boogeyman of modern business. And if it's on your mind constantly, it might be time for a new data hosting partner. The threat of ransomware or any cyber-attack is top of mind for many business leaders, with a majority describing it as something that “keeps them up at night.” 
right-arrow share search phone phone-filled menu filter envelope envelope-filled close checkmark caret-down arrow-up arrow-right arrow-left arrow-down