Why Multi-Factor Authentication is important
Multi-factor authentication is an extra layer of security to your online accounts. It protects your credential from getting stolen by cybercriminals. This technique requires users to provide at least two factors of authentication for login to our online accounts.
Why is the MFA required?
There are over 15 billion online accounts of different users for different platforms. If any cybercriminal decides to steal your credentials among these 15 billion accounts, then it means they will possibly have full access to your bank accounts, medical records or your company’s financial secrets. And much more important information that can cause you a lot. For an cybercriminal, it is not easy to steal your data if you are using MFA. Moreover, as there are many options to steal for these criminals, they often choose more accessible targets.
Multi-factor authentication is based on at least two factors. The first one is your username and password for your account, and the other one can be either of the following or both:
- Biometric: Such as retinal scans, fingerprints, and other information that can prove your identity.
- Security Keys: This can be obtained from your cell phones, keycards, or USB drives.
Setting up these extra layers of security is easier for every user.
How Secure is the Password Itself?
Passwords are the way to access our online accounts. We often change our passwords over a specific period to make sure that our password is inaccessible. But nowadays, no matter how complex your passwords are, how often you are changing them, hackers can still crack them on no time. Losing the password of your once account can give access to almost all of your online accounts. For instance, if you lose your Google Account’s password, it will provide most of your information to the hacker. Google is linked with your phone (android devices), and it has access to almost every email, YouTube, Social Media, and Calendars. Now, these accounts can compromise a lot of your details.
According to Google itself, in 2017, the number of accounts hacked by cybercriminals is 250,000 per-week. By now, this number has increased. People have this wrong idea that only your bank accounts can give away your financial record, but healthcare records are also essential to protect as other financial accounts. If a hacker has access to your medical data, then he has access to your most private data.
Most of the companies worldwide have started MFA, and now it’s time for you also to use this technique and protect your accounts further.
How Does it Work?
MFA doesn’t rule out the traditional username and password method; it just adds an extra layer of protection and this.
Following are the steps involved in the working of MFA:
- Registration: This step will require you to register a device as an extra layer of security and verify to the system that the device they are registering belongs to them.
- Login: A traditional login method with a username and password.
- Verification: System will ask you to verify through your registered device. One Time Password (OTP) is an example of this step.
- Response: In this final step, you need to react according to the system’ verification method, and your account signing in will be done.
There is also a difference in the multi-factor authentication process for different systems. Some systems need to verify your identity on every login. At the same time, most of the systems remember your device from where you usually log in. It asks for verification if you log in from a new device or a new location.
According to Microsoft, MFA can potentially prevent 100% of the cyberattacks on your account. It is a simple but efficient way of protecting your accounts.
Advantages of MFA
In the present era, many companies are adopting MFA to deal with uprising security concerns. In the upcoming time, the popularity of MFA will increase more and more until the time will come that it will become a must for every system.
Let’s see some advantages of Multi-Factor Authentication:
Every organization worldwide wants to decrease security risks; as we all know, almost 80% of accounts can be stolen today because of having weak passwords. To decrease this percentage, security feature like MFA is essential for everyone to keep their accounts safe. MFA can decrease this security risk by adding extra layers of protection. Even if an account is compromised because of a weak password, the attacker won’t be able to get through without confirming the verification method you have put in.
Multiple organizations require their employees to work outside the organization building. In such cases, MFA can adapt according to the permissions from the organization. MFA will analyze if a person is trying to login into the system within the company’s decided range or outside of it. If the login attempt is outside of the company’s premises, it will activate the extra-security layer. Otherwise, the user can log in to the system quickly.
Better User Experience
In contrast to the simple username and password method, MFA doesn’t require the users to remember their passwords or verify their accounts at every login. An organization can set up the MFA in a way that it will activate the authentication only when it’s required. This will keep the process more straightforward, and users will be satisfied.
Multi-factor authentication protects your account from cyber attacks. It is the addition of a security layer to traditional login methods. All you have to do is provide the system with a verification method so that it can be used for authentication. Likewise, the system can remember the location of your device and the device you usually log in with, so you only need to verify your identity the first time. The system will only activate MFA if it sees a different location, the other device is trying to log in, or you want to log in at a time that is outside of the rule. MFA can prevent 100% of cyberattacks on your online accounts.