Stay protected: Multi-factor authentication for you and your employees

multi-factor authentication

There’s been considerable talk regarding business Internet security of late, and for a good reason. With the ransomware infestation of the Colonial Pipeline to hacks of major companies worldwide and even government attempts, online threats are lurking around every corner. Chances are, your company relies heavily on Internet usage. The pandemic forced many companies to utilize more cloud services than ever before. While the ability to access business documentation anywhere in the world is a valuable tool to take advantage of, it also opens up several new security threats and variables. 

When everything resided under one roof, you could maintain control of overall network security elements. Yet, with employees accessing your cloud server from home, coffee shops, and hot spots, much of this control has been taken away from you. This is exactly why you need to implement multi-factor authentication for you and your employees. It boosts security and allows you to safeguard your cloud network better. Here is what you need to know about multi-factor authentication.

Why Multi-Factor Authentication

There are two extremely common ways for cybercriminals to make their way into a company’s mainframe and steal information. The first is through a spam email or infected website, where an employee clicks on an infected email or follows a link that then opens the entire network to the criminal. While some security measures installed on a computer can show up red flags and help prevent infestation, this is an issue where you need to discuss the concerns with your employees and go over the importance of not clicking on links within emails (especially if the sender is unknown).

The second common way for cybercriminals to make their way onto a network and steal business information is to guess a username and password. Far too many individuals use simple passwords, despite being told not to. This is where multi-factor authentication comes in. It adds additional security measures for someone to log in and makes it more difficult for a hacker to work past security protocols.

Many employees use their own computers. This is perfectly fine, but it opens up problems once they allow others to use their computer. They might let their kids log in for school work or to play games. They might let their spouses use the computer for surfing the Internet or for online shopping. Regardless of who else is using it, once secondary people begin using the computer, it instantly adds to the threats of infested emails and fraudulent links. It would be best for employees to have dedicated work computers they take home and don’t use for anything else. If this is a financial possibility, it is something to look into. But even so, multi-factor authentication is important.

What Are The Additional Factors of Authentication

Multi-factor is all about a user proving it is, in reality, themselves. The username and password simply mean someone is using a known username and password. This can be stolen or given to someone else. The additional authentication factors help the system make sure the person logging in is actually who it is supposed to be.

So what other forms are there? If you’re already using a smartphone, you likely have been using some of these features already. It can be a thumbprint or an eye scan. Now, yes, a thumbprint or retina scan can be stolen, just like any other data. Once a copy of the information has been stored, it can be siphoned off, but this takes additional work, which will deter most crooks.

Another option is the use of a fob, USB plug-in, or other devices. Some expensive software offerings that want to make sure only one copy of the software is used at once will often require some kind of USB plug-in. When the software launches, the program will then search for the connected fob. If the fob/USB plug-in is inserted, the software will run. If not, the software won’t. It’s basically a key that unlocks the software. This can be an especially valuable form of multi-factor authentication. Without the given physical device, a user is not able to access the cloud information. Of course, it can run into problems if your employee loses the fob or if they forget to take it with them. So there are some downsides to this, but this kind of feature is extremely valuable when it comes to heightened security.

Whatever Works Best For You

You will know what works best for your business and your employees. Whatever it is, multi-factor authentication will dramatically improve the security of your business and help prevent external threats from hacking into your network and stealing important information. A single hack can prove especially damaging and expensive, so you need to take online security seriously.

Boost Your Business Online Security Today

Every day you put off upgrading your company’s online security is another day everything you’ve worked for is at risk. Online security is more important now than ever before, especially with the amount of cloud utilization you likely rely on. Because you are no longer able to control every aspect of the business log-in process (due to employees accessing company files away from your physical brick and mortar facility), it is imperative to boost the security measures right on your employee’s computers. This can be done using a multi-factor authentication system. Here at Charlotte IT Solutions, our staff is here to help you with this implementation and other Internet security protocols. You can’t be too careful these days, as one hack or online ransom can cost your business hundreds of thousands of dollars in assets (and possibly force your business into bankruptcy). So, if you’re ready to get serious about your company’s online security, give our staff here at Charlotte IT Solutions a call. We’ll help configure your network with Internet security that fits your company like a glove.