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MFA – What Is It And What’s Its Role In Cybersecurity?

It’s no hidden secret that password breaching is the most common hacking culprit that affects individual users as well as companies. Companies, especially the small and medium-sized ones, need to be very alert about password protection. In fact, us ban on using the default password for IoT devices is a clear indication that the password plays a very important role when it comes to cybersecurity.

When talking about smaller companies with limited funds, it’s mostly impossible for them to recover the monetary damage that hacking may cause. Eventually, such businesses choke and never see the light of another day. Which is why advanced methods of password protection are important. One such method is MFA – Multi-factor Authentication.

Multi-factor authentication works like a phenomenal gateway between the information stored in a system and the other side of the internet. It involves additional factors for authentication besides the username and the password. In other words, access to the account, device, and the information stored within the device is granted only after the user clears all the stages of authentication.

Having so many filter levels makes it extremely difficult for hackers to gain forced entry. The highest level of protection involves using biometrics as authentication factors – retinal recognition or fingerprints. The access wouldn’t be granted as long as the system wouldn’t recognize those biometrics.

Companies even use 2-factor authentication instead of multi-factor authentication. The only difference between the two is, 2-factor authentication requires 2 authentication inputs, unlike MFA that requires more than 2.

The different filter stages in MFA are;

  • Username
  • Password
  • Biometrics
  • Location

When every single employee in a company is provided with a different system with MFA security, the chances of information leak are minimal.

Another factor of importance is, username and password permit entry within the system and biometric and location are required to access the applications stored in the system.

Nonetheless, MFA is a clear advancement over 2FA. It’s any day safer and better. Certainly, the initial cost is higher, but the reduction in malware attacks is phenomenal.

Having said that, do not overlook the importance of other cybersecurity techniques. MFA offers maximum benefits only when used in combination with all the security techniques listed below.

  • Take efforts to constantly remove bugs
  • Update software applications
  • Use a firewall and an anti-virus
  • Despite additional authentication factors, the password for the system should still be very strong (12-20 characters long, each character unique)
  • Have a reliable response team
  • Hire ethical hackers by running bounty programs

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