Multifactor authentication is the best thing you can do in 2023

DKB Security Operations

3 Min Read

Multifactor authentication is one of the most important things you can do to prevent credential compromise, data breach, or worse.

Multifactor authentication (MFA) is an identity verification measure that requires users to provide more than one piece of evidence (or "factor") to verify their identity for access to a system or sensitive information. Factors can include something the user knows (such as a password), something the user has (such as a physical token or a mobile phone), or something the user is (such as a biometric characteristic like a fingerprint).

Multifactor Authentication is a shield against attackers

MFA effectively guards against credential theft because it requires an additional “factor” for identity verification beyond username and password. Usernames are easily obtained as email addresses or thru inference. Passwords can be obtained through various approaches, such as phishing attacks, social engineering, or password-cracking software. By requiring additional factors beyond user ID and password, it is much more difficult for attackers to gain access to systems and data.

Organizational assets are highly vulnerable to unauthorized access without enforced use of MFA. If an attacker gains access to a single set of login credentials, they may be able to utilize privilege escalation to access sensitive data without any additional barriers. This could include financial information, customer data, or other confidential information. Additionally, compromised credentials can further compromise an organization as part of initiating a ransomware attack or even installing back doors for intellectual property exfiltration. 

MFA may also be required to comply with organization regulatory frameworks, such as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), which requires using MFA for certain types of transactions. By requiring use of MFA, businesses demonstrate they are taking necessary steps to protect sensitive information and prevent unauthorized access.

In addition to protecting businesses, MFA can also protect individuals and their personal accounts. For example, MFA can prevent attackers from accessing an individual's online bank account or social media account, potentially preventing financial loss or identity theft.

Different types of MFA

There are many types of multifactor authentication including an additional PIN or secret questions. When using your phone or tablet, it can include biometric information like a finger print or facial recognition scan. More commonly used systems are code generator apps and security keys.

A code generator app works by generating a unique code that is required to complete the authentication process. The app typically uses an algorithm to generate the code, which is based on a shared secret key and the current time. The code is valid for a limited time, typically a few minutes, after which a new code must be generated. The user enters the code into the system or service they are trying to access, and if the code is correct, the authentication process is completed and the user is granted access. Code generator apps can be used in conjunction with other forms of MFA, such as a password or a biometric authentication, to provide an additional layer of security.

Security keys are physical devices that are used to provide an additional layer of protection when accessing a system or service. They work by using public key cryptography to authenticate the user's identity and grant access to the system. To use a security key, the user inserts the key into a USB port on their computer or connects it to their mobile device using Bluetooth or NCF. The user then enters their login credentials, such as a username and password, and the security key generates a unique code that is used to complete the authentication process. Security keys are an effective way to prevent unauthorized access to systems and services, as they are difficult to clone or spoof. They are often used in conjunction with other forms of MFA, such as a password or a biometric authentication, to provide even greater defense.

Check to see if you are using MFA

If you are unsure about if your organization is enforcing MFA across your line of business applications, the team at DKBinnovative can help. Our professionals start with a discovery discussion to determine where and how you are implementing IT best practices to help secure your environment and advise you on strategically formulating a plan that caters to your specific requirements.

DKB’s managed services can also provide support for other security measures, such as firewalls, intrusion detection, prevention systems, and encryption. This comprehensive approach can help protect your business from a variety of threats and can give you peace of mind knowing that your data and systems are in good hands.

Don't take chances with your organization's security. Invest in managed security services and get the expert support and protection you need. Contact us today to learn more.

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