The password used to be the valiant knight that was ready to protect your information online from prying eyes. Unfortunately, in our modern technological world, a single password is no longer enough to protect your business from cybercrime. You need a fortress with high walls, a drawbridge, and a moat filled with piranhas to keep the attackers out. 

What does this look like in the real world? It means your business needs to have a comprehensive strategy to protect your sensitive information against cyber threats. One of the simplest ways to start is by creating password policies. All businesses should use multi-factor authentication to protect their online accounts. A password alone is no longer sufficient, no matter how strong it is.

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and few minutes of cyber-incident to ruin it,” says Stephane Nappo, Global Chief Information Security Officer at CISO. The good news is that your business can defend itself from cyber threats by using multi-factor authentication for your online accounts. Below, we will explain just how authentication factors work and how to use them correctly. 

Why Multi-Factor Authentication is Essential to Modern Business

Multi-factor authentication simply means there is more than one step involved in gaining access to secure information. Many digital programs and apps require multi-factor authentication in order to use them. This is sometimes referred to as “two-step” authentication, “two-factor” authentication, or simply “2FA”. 

How App-Based Authentication Works

App-based authentication allows you to use two-step verification without being tied to your cell phone number. The app can be installed on your phone, laptop, or other digital device and can be used without internet access. The app generates secure codes that refresh on a regular rotation. The accounts you sync to your app will be connected. When you require the authentication code, simply open the app, get the code, and you’re in.  

Why Phone-Based Authentication is Less Secure Than you Think

When you set up multi-factor authentication, one of the most common options is to send an SMS code to your phone or answer a phone call. This may sound like a secure option because only someone physically holding your phone can use this method, right? Unbeknownst to most businesses, cell phone authentication is quickly becoming the least secure authentication method for several reasons:

SMS texts and voice calls can be easily intercepted, allowing hackers to read your security codes and gain access to your accounts without ever stealing your phone.

Scammers have been known to convince cell service providers to redirect phone numbers to new SIM cards, again giving the cybercriminal access to your accounts without ever touching your phone.

It can also cause major downtime when you accidentally become locked out of your accounts, which can happen if: 

If you change your phone number and forget to update your accounts. The process for bypassing a multi-factor authentication can take hours, sometimes days to fix.

Phones can break or run out of battery when they are needed to gain access to important information. The additional headache and administration hours required to grant access to employees can quickly outweigh any benefit phone authentication offers. 

Why Cybersecurity Matters for Your Business

Every business needs to be aware of cybersecurity risks and have a plan of defense. To succeed in the modern era of business, it is essential to maintain trust with your customers. Businesses must protect all private client information that is processed and stored because digital security breaches are the quickest way to lose customer support. 

Online banking is one of the most targeted industries for cyber criminals. Banking information is attacked from several sides, including the banking institutions own security systems, as well as individual accounts. The next time you sign-on to your financial institution’s website and complain about having to spend a few extra seconds answering security questions, take a moment to realize how important those extra seconds are to protecting your money and personal information. At Alt-Tech Inc. we specialize in serving financial services firms, law firms, and insurance agencies. If you have questions about the level of cybersecurity for your business, give us a call. 

Hiring Cybersecurity Experts in Edmonton, Alberta

Now that you know how multi-factor authentication works and why it’s vital to protect your business from cyber threats, it’s time to set up a plan with your IT team to boost your cybersecurity system. If you don’t have a dedicated IT team or your team is already occupied with day-to-day tech concerns, you can consider hiring an external team that focuses specifically on cybersecurity. Our IT experts at Alt-Tech Inc. offer a full range of IT support and management levels to suit your business needs. Contact us today to get your business cybersecurity questions answered!