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vCTO Secure has been serving the Seattle area since 2011, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Multi-factor Authentication is a Critical Part of Modern Business Insurance

Multi-factor Authentication is a Critical Part of Modern Business Insurance

Nowadays, businesses are taking cybersecurity much more seriously. Many insurers require businesses to adhere to specific cybersecurity standards before offering coverage. A key requirement is the implementation of multi-factor authentication (MFA).

Let's discuss what you need to be prepared for and how vCTO Secure can assist.

What is MFA?

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a cybersecurity measure that adds additional layers of security to traditional systems.

We're all familiar with the classic username and password combination, which has been used since the advent of networking. It’s like needing a secret knock and a secret word to gain entry.

However, this system is relatively easy to compromise. Cybercriminals can capture credentials through phishing, keylogging, and network snooping.

MFA mitigates this risk by requiring additional authentication steps much harder to replicate or steal.

How Does Multi-Factor Authentication Work?

MFA requires users to provide extra proof of identity.

Initially, a user presents their identity with a username or secret knock, signaling a request for access. This identity must then be authenticated, traditionally with a password.

In the past, entering the correct password was enough to gain access. MFA, however, demands more proof. Before granting access, an additional factor, like wearing a specific ring, is required. Similarly, MFA demands more than just a password to authenticate an identity.

What Can Be Used as Authentication in Modern MFA Systems?

Modern MFA systems require additional proof of identity, which can be one of three types:

  • Something you know, like a password or passcode.
  • Something you have, like access to an account or application.
  • Something you are, like biometric data.

While various options exist, some more secure than others. That said, any MFA is better than none, especially if it’s required to insure your business.

Emailed Codes

This method involves sending a code to the user’s email when an access attempt is made. The user must then provide this code to gain access. It’s simple, but can be effective for businesses willing to check their email before logging into a secured resource.

SMS Codes

Some platforms send a code via text to the user’s phone, which must be entered to gain access. Despite its simplicity, SMS-based MFA has downsides. Issues can arise if the phone is lost or upgraded, or if the phone number changes. Losing access to the email account can also be very problematic.

Authentication Applications

Dedicated MFA applications like Google Authenticator, Microsoft Authenticator, and Duo provide a secure way to generate and access MFA codes from a single, secure place. When choosing an app, ensure it allows for device transfers and backups, as Google, Microsoft, and Duo do.

We’re Here to Help

Neglecting business insurance is not an option, and if it helps make businesses more secure, it's a win-win. If you want to learn more about implementing MFA or have any other IT or cybersecurity questions, we’re here to help. Call us at (206) 895-5595 to learn more.

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Sunday, 16 June 2024

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