The Increasing Importance of Multi-Factor Authentication

It wasn’t too long ago that we just trying to get employees to buy into utilizing Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). Now that so many people are working remotely, and data breaches are becoming more regular, enabling MFA on ALL of your accounts is more important than ever before.

MFA means that to access your account with it enabled requires both something you know and something you have. Most cases this will mean your password (something you know) and your phone that receives a text message with a code or an authentication app that generates codes (something you have, your phone).

Recently Krebs on Security even wrote a post about how if you don’t enable MFA for your accounts, attackers may enable it FOR you in a breach. Once they do this, it will be nearly impossible to recover your account. There are a few other reasons why enabling MFA on your accounts needs to be done today!

Unrelated Breaches

Many people use the same passwords across multiple accounts. They enter their email address and create the same password on their new MyFitnessPal account that they use on their email account, bank account, Amazon account and more. I get it. It is definitely easier to remember one password than it is to remember several different ones.

The problem with using the same password in multiple locations is that many companies are being attacked. User login information is being stolen and sold on the dark web. If your password is sold on the dark web due to a breach in an account you don’t even use anymore, attackers will try that combination in other services.

While you may not fall for an attack yourself, your standard username and password could already be out there for attackers to find and use. If you enable MFA on all accounts that will allow it, you will be notified when someone tries to access your account and will be able to stop them from gaining access.

Extra Layer of Security

Even the most tech savvy person has moments of weakness. An attacker might be able to spear phish enough information to illicit a response from you. If you happen to fall for a phishing attack, once you hand over your credentials, the attackers will try to login right away. Having MFA enabled will give you a second layer of protection for when the attackers try to use your credentials.

One word of warning here though. Sometimes the attackers will work quickly, and if their phishing attack is sophisticated enough, it will immediately login as you, and then ask you for the MFA code. If you hand over the MFA code at that moment as well, they will have access to your account.

Will Be Required Sooner Than Later

Many services like Microsoft 365 are starting to require that you turn on MFA to use their services. Since their service will come under the microscope if multiple accounts become hacked on their platform, it’s in the service’s best interest to make your account more secure.

With this requirement coming in the very near future, now is as good of a time as any to get used to using MFA on all of your accounts. At first it’s going to seem like a huge pain, but eventually you will get used to it, and it will be almost as quick as not using it.

Besides, dealing with a few seconds of delay to get into your account is way better than your account being breached by an attacker. If you need help with an MFA plan for your company be sure to give briteCITY a call to get you set up!