What is MFA and does my small business need it?

What is MFA and does my small business need it?

Understanding MFA

Multi-factor authentication (or two-factor authentication, abbreviated as 2FA) is an online security layer that requires an additional credential when logging into an account or system. This can include something the user knows (like a PIN), something the user owns (like a phone or key card), or something the user is (like biometric information). This additional layer of security makes it exponentially more difficult for anyone other than authorized users to access sensitive information on your systems.

Why MFA? Because data is a vulnerable asset

Businesses of all sizes have come to realize the value of their business data. And many have learned the hard way that failing to protect that data can lead to expensive downtime and damage to their company's reputation. One of the easiest ways to increase your security is to use multi-factor authentication (MFA) on all platforms. MFA adds an extra layer of security to your Software-as-a-Service accounts (like Microsoft 365), line-of-business applications, and other critical information technology systems.

Other MFA considerations

One of the most common forms of multi-factor authentication is a code or link send as either a text or email. Some platforms give you multiple options to choose from, while others require a specific form of authentication at every login. When setting up MFA for your business, you will need to decide which types of authentication factors are most appropriate for your organization. Push notifications can require additional hardware, usually an employee's cell phone, and management must then determine whether this is best accomplished by company or user-owned devices. The COVID-19 pandemic expedited the trend of bring-your-own-device (BYOD), that has created new security challenges, even as these devices are used to implement enhanced security measures like MFA.

Isn't my business too small to be a target?

Not at all. Ultimately, it's up to you to decide when the cost of security exceeds the benefit, and only you can determine what level of risk is acceptable for your business (beyond the minimum compliance standards of your industry). Like insurance, cybersecurity has a range of options that may not be appropriate for everyone. Cyclists may not need to worry about property damage insurance the way SUV drivers do, and SUV drivers don't need to wear helmets, but commuters of all sizes are vulnerable in their own ways. And the data has shown that your small business is vulnerable on the web like a cyclist on the road. Many attacks are broad and do not discriminate by size; and small businesses have traditionally lacked the resources of larger companies in preventing and recovering from attacks. That's the playing field Team Technology seeks to level.

We're ready to help!

If you have questions about how to implement multi-factor authentication securely and with as little impact to your productivity as possible, please reach out to us today!