Multi Factor Authentication (MFA) also known as Two factor Authentication (2FA) is one of the key measures to protecting home or remote workers from cyber attack. Many businesses were ill prepared for the sudden move of significant portions of their staff to a remote working environment. Their infrastructure was not designed to support remote staff. In the rush to move people to home working cybersecurity tended to get overlooked.
What is MFA?
Multi factor Authentication is a security system that requires a user to identify their identity using multiple credentials. It requires a user to provide 2 or more verification factors to gain access to a resource like an application, VPN or an online account. Rather than just providing a username and password MFA requires the input of one or several additional pieces of information – often a numeric code sent by SMS or/and a fingerprint scan – to enable access.
Why is MFA Advisable?
Passwords can be fraudulently attained, MFA increases security in the event that a hacker gets hold of a username and password rendering their attempts ineffective. This significantly reduces the likelihood of a cyber criminal gaining access.
How Does MFA Work?
With MFA a user is required to enter additional information to confirm their identity. This additional piece of information (factor) is unique to them and known only by them. If a criminal attempts to gain access to an account using a stolen username and password they will be denied entry without this additional piece of information.
Types of Authentication
The most common MFA factor used is a One Time Password (OTP) which is a 4 to 8 digit code usually received by SMS or email or generated by a smartphone app. A new code is generated periodically or each time a request for authentication is submitted. Other factors include biometrics like fingerprint or voice recognition or something you possess like an access badge or fob or a piece of information such as an answer to previously submitted security questions.
MFA during COVID 19
With the increase in use of cloud technology and workers accessing accounts remotely MFA is more important now than ever. Additional security is needed to ensure that hackers are not able to access systems. MFA can help prevent bad actors gaining access by prompting for additional authentication factors that are difficult for imitators to produce. This in turn significantly reduces the frequency of unlawful access.
MFA for Microsoft 365
Many cloud operating systems such as AWS and M365 have their own MFA offerings. However it is critical that MFA is deployed correctly and this requires expertise. If your business for example has more granular sign-in security needs, conditional access policies give more control. Risk base conditional access can also be configured. To be sure that MFA works as best it can for your business it is best to consult with an IT Services company. Their experts will ensure that all the features available to you are utilised and mapped to your business’s operational needs. They will also advise if additional measures should be taken.
Get in touch with us and we can ensure that MFA is switched on and properly configured for your business. Learn more about HCS IT Security services.
Every year technological innovation seems to appear at speed but the Covid pandemic accelerated adoption of technology at a pace never seen before. Necessity is the mother of invention and this year more than ever businesses were forced to make rapid changes to their operating models.
Many discovered their IT wasn’t up to the job and as we face into more disruption many businesses are still not capitalising on the benefits that technology can deliver.
Now is the time to take stock. As evidenced in the pandemic change can happen suddenly. Businesses need to have the agility to act fast and not just maintain operations but improve them increasing productivity and efficiency.
What to Expect in 2021
It has been well documented that remote working will remain a staple of the business world into 2021 and beyond. Thankfully the right technology in place fully enables employees to be as productive from home as in the office. Modern communication tools such as video conferencing, instant messaging and cloud based solutions and apps like Microsoft 365 allow staff to collaborate in realtime, safely access and share files and documents and service customers effectively while situated offsite.
Hosted Telephony and VOIP is transforming the way companies communicate. Regardless of the physical location of your employees with hosted telephone solutions you can deliver cost efficient communications from the cloud. VOIP allows businesses to quickly react to change while maintaining best-in-class communication capability servicing customers quickly and effectively.
With Microsoft 365, OneDrive Cloud Storage and office apps your staff can be more productive now than ever before from anywhere. Microsoft’s Enhanced Productivity Suite (Power Automate, Power BI and Power Apps) boosts productivity further making outdated processes automated! Build time-saving workflows with seamless integration to automate mundane tasks. Inbuilt AI increases efficiencies and gives staff more time to focus on core objectives. Power BI can unlock valuable insights to business drivers and enable more informed strategic decision making. Power Apps allow you to build problem solving apps quickly and easily to automate processes across the business. It is expected in 2021 that the use of productivity tools will drive business transformation to create the digital workplace.
Stringent Cyber Security
There will be huge impacts on security in the coming year as the move to working from home continues. Identity and multi factor authentication (MFA) will take centre stage as more and more devices access networks and more processes move to online. The increased use of cloud will leave holes and vulnerabilities that could be exploited. Comprehensive security measures will be needed to protect against cyber-attacks and Advanced Persistent Threats (ATP) that are expected to continue to rise in 2021.
Uncertainty is the only certainty as 2021 brings an ongoing pandemic, Brexit and a new USA Administration. The smart businesses will Evolve & Adapt to a new world order early and this will allow them competitive edge. Technology and the clever application of it is the bedrock that will enable businesses to adapt and move forward successfully. In a world that is changing customer needs are also rapidly changing and budgets are under pressure. Optimising technology to deliver efficiency, adaptability, productivity all cost effectively will secure your business throughout some of the most challenging years that we have ever seen and beyond.
Get in touch with us
Contact us today and we will help you construct and realise your vision into the new year and secure your business for the future.