What is Multi-factor Authentication
Explaining what multi-factor authentication is and why you should use it while working from home.
You may already know multi-factor authentication as two-factor authentication. You have probably seen it as you try to log into your bank account from a new computer or using Gmail from a new phone. Typically, you put in your usual credentials and then you get a text message with a code to enter in. That code would be the second factor of two-factor authentication. You can have a very similar process in logging into your corporate network, making it more secure and safe - especially as more of us are working from home. The goal of this article is to describe what multi-factor authentication is and why you need it for your work.
What is multi-factor authentication
The techy way to describe multi-factor authentication is to say that it's a security mechanism that requires two or more independent credentials to authenticate identity. Or in other words, it means that you need more than just your login ID and password. The three main categories of multi-factor authentication are; something you know (like a password), something you have (like the code Gmail or your bank texts you when logging in with a new phone or computer) known as a token, and something that you are lol, what? Something that you are meaning your fingerprint or an eye-scan or FaceID login for iPhones, this is called a biometric verification.
Why you need multi-factor authentication
Multi-factor authentication creates a layered and more secure defence for your network. Passwords typically don't follow recommended security policies, despite IT recommendations. They can be stolen, you can forget them, I know I have over-used my own and you can share passwords very easily. Multi-factor authentication takes the human error out and adds extra protection. Beyond what you have, what you know and what you are - are other factors that can lock down access even further. Factors like location and time. Using a number of these or all of them can be very effective in ensuring that who is using the equipment or network is supposed to be. As more and more people are working from home it becomes critical that multi-factor authentication is used. Many IT departments are requesting that it be a requirement of the networks they support as the geographical distance of the networks they work in become larger and larger.
How would I use Multi-factor authentication at work
The most typical use case for MFA (multi-factor authentication) is just like how the banks and Gmail use it. You would still keep your typically Login ID and password but then the use of an MFA vendor would send a code to be approved before you are given access. In many cases, you wouldn't have to enter in the code. It is usually sent to an app on another device like your phone and you click on the approved button that shows in the app and away you go. The use of MFA vendors are typically cost-effective and range to a few dollars per user per month.
If you have any questions or would like our help in setting up an MFA vendor please feel free to contact us, today!