ImageQuest recommends Multifactor Authentication

With the surge in pandemic-related phishing attacks, ransomware, and business email compromise, you must ensure your email and networks are protected.

One of the easiest steps you can take to reduce your exposure is to require multi-factor authentication on all accounts where a log-in is required.

Ask any cybersecurity expert – multi-factor authentication halts most attempted intrusions into and financial thefts from your systems.

“As hackers look to target less tech-savvy users that are new to working at home, multi-factor authentication stops hackers in their tracks,” writes Dan Conrad in HelpNetSecurity.com

The typical loss from a network breach runs into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and more and more small businesses are getting hit. It’s increasingly likely that cybercriminals have attacked a small business you know and patronize.

Requiring Multi-factor Authentication is akin to locking your doors and turning on your alarm system. The neighborhood robber looking for a quick haul will move on to the house where the family keeps the doors unlocked.

Multi-factor authentication may be an essential step needed to renew business cyber insurance, too. Because of the rise in attacks, insurers continually scrutinize their customers’ security measures.

Insurance Journal last year said one cyber insurance agency was offering a lower deductible for businesses implementing multi-factor authentication.

Multi-factor authentication comes in several forms. Many of us are familiar with the code texted to our phones. Biometric authentication – using a fingerprint or your retina –  also continues to improve and is now widely deployed.

Other forms are phone apps that generate random six-digit codes for access into a particular account.

Microsoft Azure has Multi-factor Authentication integrated into its Microsoft 365 (O365) offerings – those familiar applications such as Outlook, Teams, and OneDrive.

Some corporations rely on the proactive protection of authentication programs that check the security of the device used for logging in.

The FBI says this extra step stops nearly all efforts to crack a system and steal data, and both it and the Department of Homeland Security recommend organizations add multifactor authentication as a security step.