It’s becoming increasingly challenging for individuals and businesses to secure their information systems against cybercriminals. Hackers are always trying to find ways of breaking into your data systems, and mere passwords may not be sufficient deterrence. To enhance your data security, there’s a need to add an extra layer of security, and this is where multi-factor authentication (MFA) comes into the picture.
What is Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)?
Also referred to as 2-Factor Authentication (2FA), multi-factor authentication is a security system combining more than two forms of authentication to improve account security. With the MFA in place, credentials won’t be enough to allow access to your accounts.
When you activate the MFA on your device, account or website, the server will automatically require a second independent form of authentication to log you in successfully. Without this additional authentication, you won’t be able to access your account, website or device.
Importance of MFA on VPN connections to the office
VPNs provide a safe and secure environment for remote access to your internal on-premise applications, but they aren’t a silver bullet. If you’re providing users with just a password and username to access your VPN connections, you’re not completely immune to data breaches because those credentials can be stolen.
Here are reasons you need to activate MFA on your VPN connection:
- Protection against credential theft: The MFA provides an additional layer of security when accessing your accounts, data and websites.
- Provides visibility into all devices on the network: MFA sends authentication requirements to devices, so you can tell which devices are connected to the network.
- Secure access to on-premises and cloud applications: With the MFA on, login credentials in the wrong hands won’t do much harm.
- Help enforce granular access security policies: It’s a way of enforcing security policies – just ensure every user has MFA activated on their endpoints.
- Achieve regulatory compliance: It’s a requirement to meet data security policies.
Importance of MFA on Office 365 logins
Hackers often fish for any loopholes to exploit and gain access to your data, and one potential place to find a loophole is your Office 365 account. Thankfully, Microsoft realized they needed to secure their Office 365 client accounts back in 2014, and made a provision for adding the MFA.
Here are some important benefits of adding MFA:
- Increase security of user logins: When you activate the MFA, you’ll be required to acknowledge a phone call or text, message, or an app notification on your smartphone, so you can access Office 365 services. This means you won’t have to worry about your logins falling into the wrong hands, and someone using them to access your account. You will receive a notification when they attempt to log in, and know it’s time to change your logins.
- Prevents phishing attacks: MFA helps you to know you’re logging into Office 365, and not a replica site designed to steal your sensitive data. If inputting your credentials doesn’t trigger a second authentication activity, then you know you’re about to fall victim to a phishing attempt.
- Keeps track of all login activity: Multi-factor authentication can also help you keep track of all logins, so you can review them periodically to see if there’s abnormal activity. A notification of a failed login should be the first red flag you should look for when you’re ascertaining the security of your Office 365 account.
MFA is no longer a luxury today when cybercriminals are hell-bent on compromising your information systems and causing data breaches. A data breach can be a costly affair, requiring you to spend thousands of dollars to restore your systems. Be sure to set up MFA on all your accounts and VPNs to have an additional layer of security. At SystemsNet, we can help you implement MFA on your accounts and keep your data safe. Contact us today to handle all the installations.