Do I Need Multi-Factor Authentication?

September 13, 2021

Do I Need Multi-Factor Authentication?

 

Nowadays it is more critical than ever for both individuals and corporations to educate themselves on basic cybersecurity procedures in order to avoid costly mistakes. By being aware of common scams, users can take steps to protect themselves and their data from hackers. Multi-factor authentication, also known as two-factor authentication, is a great tool to help protect our data from cyber attacks. It adds another barrier, making it more difficult for hackers to breach your data.

 

What is Multi-Factor Authentication?

 

Multi-factor authentication simply means in order to log in to a device or an account, you must provide more than one method of authentication. To unlock your phone for example, you must input a PIN and scan your fingerprint. This security feature is available from many software providers such as Google and Microsoft, allowing you to add an extra layer of protection to your devices and online accounts. To access a device or an account with this functionality enabled, you must give multiple pieces of authenticating information.

 

How Does Multi-Factor Authentication Work?

 

The majority of online platforms already implement multi-factor authentications to help secure your account. In most cases, multi-factor authentication is implemented whereby a user enters their username & passwords, followed by a six-digit code that is sent via SMS to their phone.

 

Another method of multi-factor authentication involves having a software-based authentication to generate a Time-based One-time Password Algorithm (TOTP). Essentially, it is an authenticator app that generates a new code every minute or so, which you then use to sign in along with your typical username & password.

 

The SMS option above is certainly not as secure as the TOTP/authenticator app option. Cyber Unit strongly recommends avoiding the usage of SMS for multi-factor authentication, though it is certainly better than nothing.

 

Why Should You Use Multi-Factor Authentication?

 

Simply put, it never hurts to have an extra layer of defense! Multi-factor authentication is an extremely effective security feature and does not cost extra to implement.

 

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