The ugly truth about cybercrime is that hacking attacks on businesses are unlikely to cease or diminish any time soon. Any company that operates online needs to take its cybersecurity seriously. Otherwise, it could end up in a security and financial nightmare.

A study by the University of Maryland managed to quantify how often a cyberattack happens – the horrifying answer was one attack every 39 seconds, on average. One proactive way of defeating cyberattacks is by using MFA or “multi-factor authentication.”

What is multi-factor authentication?

Multi-factor authentication is a practical and viable way to block people who engage in cybercrime activities from accessing your firm’s sensitive data. It protects client and financial data by using 2-3 simultaneous security methods before allowing data access.

The great thing about MFA is that it adds a second protective layer of security if login information becomes compromised. Examples of additional information or unlock methods requested for MFA include:

  • A PIN sent via text message or generated from an authentication app on a smartphone
  • A biometric indicator such as a fingerprint or face scan
  • A USB dongle connected to the user’s computer or a keyfob or security card swiped by a scanner

Many people are already familiar with the concept of MFA. It makes sense for your business to embrace this boost to your cybersecurity.

How does MFA help your business?

MFA sounds like a great idea to boost your cybersecurity, but you might be wondering how well it works and whether it can work for your business.

Firstly, according to an article from Microsoft, multi-factor authentication is 99.9% effective at blocking cyberattacks on accounts. Even if a cybercriminal knows your username and password, they don’t have access to the MFA app or text messages on your phone.

Secondly, cybercriminals only care about gaining access to user accounts quickly and easily. Multi-factor authentication helps to stop the following types of cyberattacks on user accounts:

Social engineering

Hackers can exploit human error to gain access to their user accounts with social engineering. One of the best-known examples is “Shark Tank” television judge Barbara Corcoran.

She lost $388,000 in an email scam in 2020. The email contained a fake invoice from a legitimate company but had the cybercriminal’s bank details.

Brute force attacks

A classic way for cybercriminals to fraudulently access user accounts is through brute force attacks. A notable real-world example of that happening is the 2016 brute force attack on Alibaba’s website.

Without MFA, cybercriminals can quickly implement the above attack methods to gain access to user accounts. And once accounts get compromised, they can sell that data to other hackers and fraudulently use customer card details to buy things online.

How a reliable MSP can help you stop cyber attacks

When it comes to improving your business’s cybersecurity, multi-factor authentication is an essential first step to take. MFA is straightforward to implement for many companies, and a reliable IT services company in Arlington can help you implement it. 

They can also advise other security best practices for your business, such as improving password criteria and helping your team utilize other common-sense cybersecurity tools.