Are You Using Multi-Factor Authentication To Protect Your Account? – Alltek IT Services
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Multi-Factor Authentication

No matter how complex or complicated your passwords may be, the fact is that they’re not enough to keep you protected. That’s why you should be using multi-factor authentication – in this article, we’ll answer the following questions:

  • What Is Multi-Factor Authentication?
  • What Are The Benefits Of Multi-Factor Authentication?
  • Why Do We Need Multi-Factor Authentication?
  • How Do You Use Multi-Factor Authentication?

What Is Multi-Factor Authentication?

Multi-factor authentication requires the user to utilize two methods to confirm that they are the rightful account owner. It is an available security feature in many popular applications and software suites including Microsoft Office 365.

There are three categories of information that can be used in this process:

  • Something you have: Includes a mobile phone, app, or generated code
  • Something you know: A family member’s name, city of birth, pin, or phrase
  • Something you are: Includes fingerprints and facial recognition

What Are The Benefits Of Multi-Factor Authentication?

  • Bring Your Own Device
    In today’s modern business world, more and more employees prefer to do at least some of their work through their mobile devices, which can present a serious security risk. However, with a multi-factor authentication solution, you can enroll new employee devices in minutes, given that there’s no need to install an endpoint agent.
  • Convenient Flexibility
    A multi-factor authentication solution won’t force you to apply the same security policies to every user in the company. Instead, you are given the capability to specify policies person by person or group by group.

Why Do We Need Multi-Factor Authentication?

Despite the fact that passwords are the most direct way to access a user’s private information, most passwords in use today are simply not strong or complex enough. Passwords protect email accounts, banking information, private documents, administrator rights and more – and yet, user after user and business after business continues to make critical errors when it comes to choosing and protecting their passwords.

Are you confident in your security? Find out for sure by considering these common password mistakes:

  • Length and Complexity
    Keep in mind that the easier it is for you to remember a password, the easier it’ll be for a hacker to figure it out. That’s why short and simple passwords are so common – users worry about forgetting them, so they make them too easy to remember, which presents an easy target for hackers.
  • Numbers, Case, and Symbols
    Another factor in the password’s complexity is whether or not it incorporates numbers, cases, and symbols. While it may be easier to remember a password that’s all lower-case letters, it’s important to mix in numbers, capitals, and symbols in order to increase the complexity.
  • Personal Information
    Many users assume that information specific to them will be more secure – the thinking, for example, is that your birthday is one of a 365 possible options in a calendar year, not to mention your birth year itself. The same methodology applies to your pet’s name, your mother’s maiden name, etc. However, given the ubiquity of social media, it’s not difficult for hackers to research a target through Facebook, LinkedIn, and other sites to determine when they were born, information about their family, personal interests, etc.
  • Pattern and Sequences
    Like the other common mistakes, many people use patterns as passwords in order to better remember them, but again, that makes the password really easy to guess. “abc123”, or the first row of letters on the keyboard, “qwerty”, etc., is extremely easy for hackers to guess.

In the end, creating and using strong passwords can be frustrating, but it’s incredibly important. Privacy and security are major concerns for personal users and businesses alike these days, and so you have to be sure that you aren’t making it easy for hackers to access you or your business’ private data.

However, that’s not the most convenient or reliable way to approach password management – multi-factor authentication is.

How Do You Use Multi-Factor Authentication?

  1. User logs into the session with primary credentials.
  2. The session host validates credentials with Active Directory.
  3. Then, it sends credential validation to the cloud via the login app.
  4. The multi-factor authentication client sends its secondary authentication to the user. user approves.
  5. The multi-factor authentication client sends approval back to the session host via the login app.
  6. The user accesses their session very securely.

Though multi-factor authentication does make it harder for the account owner to access the account, it also makes it difficult for others to learn your password. Their job becomes much tougher because they now need to do more than just hack your password. They’ll need personal information about the account owner.

With so many accounts being too easy to break into, hackers are more likely to just move on instead of trying to break through the multiple factor authentication process.

One thing that industry experts warn about is the “set it and forget it” risk. Often, a business will set up the multi-factor authentication protocol, but then just assume that everything is well-protected from that point onward.

In order to be as secure as possible, all network and internet security require frequent checks to make sure things are still working.

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