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Everything You Need To Know About Multi-Factor Authentication

2 min read | Nov 18, 2021

Today’s consumers are increasingly concerned with online privacy, and rightfully so. With the pervasiveness of personal information online, cyber attacks are on the rise, and users are vulnerable to malware, phishing, spam and network breaches. Multi-factor authentication is an option for increased online security. Let’s discuss how multi-factor authentication can help you protect your online information.

What Is Multi-Factor Authentication?

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is an identity confirmation mechanism that requires a user to provide two or more verification credentials to gain access to a site, account or other online space. Users typically start by entering their username and password to gain entry; upon successful authentication of their login information, they will be asked to provide additional information that traditionally falls into three categories: what the user knows, what the user has and who the user is. Types of multi-factor authentication can include the following and more:

  • Security question answers
  • One-time passwords (OTP) generated via an app
  • One-time passwords (OTP) sent by text or email
  • Fingerprint scanning
  • Voice recognition

Because these additional points of verification are highly specific and unique to the user, they can reduce the likelihood of compromised security. While a cyberattacker may be able to obtain login information, it’s more difficult to bypass MFA credentials. 

The Benefits of Multi-Factor Authentication

Multi-factor authentication is designed to keep individuals and organizations safe from online hijacking, giving them more options for online security beyond usernames and passwords. This is especially important for organizations with company-wide access to sensitive data; if one point of entry is compromised, an entire network can fall victim to cyber crime. 

It can also be important for large companies involved with third party users. While today’s best practices regarding third party data sharing involve an evaluation of third party security practices prior to granting access, evaluations aren’t always conducted. Absent this early evaluation, companies can leave themselves open to intentional or accidental security breaches when involved with non-company users. Monitoring the online activity and security practices of multiple users—including those outside of the company who aren’t subject to company regulations—can be complex, and MFA can provide peace of mind regarding data security. While passwords can be shared (and therefore more easily hacked or capable of falling into the wrong hands), multi-factor authentication allows for more control over who can and can’t access information.

Learn More About Network Security

Multi-factor authentication is just one option for increased online security. At Benton Technology Solutions, we specialize in a variety of IT needs, including network and email security. Our cost-effective service plans allow your business to avoid the stress of implementing security solutions—contact us today to learn more!