Your password – it’s arguably the most common security measure available and it’s also almost the most vulnerable thing on earth.
What’s your standard response to anyone in and around your business who talks about the threat of data breach?
Do you tell them to just update their passwords?
Most of the time people use a password which is relatable and remembered easily. In fact, nobody really wants to retain their passwords with numbers, unique characters and has uppercase and lowercase text.
However, those who have long and complex passwords are usually less worried about their data and can sleep well at night.
Is there any other alternate to just using passwords?
Yes and Greendata can help you implement the alternatives to help keep you safe!
Why use Multi-Factor Authentication?
Today many businesses and large companies are using Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) for an extra security boost as an alternative to using the sometimes unsafe passwords alone.
Since there’s a massive amount of protection and security being offered by including Multi-Factor Authentication, why are Office 365 users happy with only using passwords?
Probably and most likely it’s the process of extra authentication by MFA that confuses and irritates some business owners.
However, now that both the Office 2013 and Office 2016 supports OAuth based authentication, it’s the time for businesses to consider seriously the use of Multi-Factor Authentication for their data security.
What’s a Multi-Factor Authentication MFA?
Multi-Factor Authentication is a method which requires that the person should seek data for the verification of identity in two or more ways.
The verifications are usually a combination of two of the below:
- Validation of your password
- Utilising your mobile phone via text or Authenticator App
- Biometrics such as fingerprint, iris or face recognition
As a bare minimum for conventional Multi-Factor Authentication you can get sent an access code to your mobile phone that you enter, along with your usual password.
The idea of MFA is to keep multiple layers of protection in a way that so that it should be difficult to gain access to your account.
Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) gives you the power because defeating a biometric challenge or an extra layer of device security is a challenging thing to do!
PROS of MFA
Simplifies the Login Process
One of the most significant benefits of Multi-Factor Authentication is that it allows businesses to login, in the end, with a single sign-in. Which makes this process simple for the end-users and makes it even more difficult for others to access. If you’re using just one sign-in, you can add the Multi-Factor Authentication process to this. With the completion of the authentication process, you can gain access to required applications and data without entering your extra credentials every time.
Increased Flexibility and Productivity
It’s a fact that removing the burden of passwords and putting alternatives such as MFA will boost productivity. Application of Multi-Factor Authentication, in the right environment, can also work as a wonderful extra opportunity to help the reduction of operational costs.
Passwords and pin numbers are susceptible to hackers forcing logins, social engineering attacks or elaborate phishing techniques. You can mitigate the risk somewhat by adding authentication factors which cannot be guessed, such as your mobile device or using your own biometric elements such as voice or fingerprints. Ultimately though, MFA strengthens overall security as everything required by the system is not available to the people wanting to steal your data and gain access to your system.
Apart from data encryption and compliance standards, organisations require implementing Multi-Factor Authentication for various situations. By using MFA you’re taking a step towards compliance that will support the protection of sensitive data like your financial, personal or business information.
CONS of MFA
Other than the aforementioned benefits, there are also some drawbacks of integrating Multi-Factor Authentication with Office 365 and Azure Tenants.
Below are some of the common sticking points that may arise when using MFA:
Cost is taken as one of the challenges during the implementation of Multi-Factor authentication, although it is not a major one. Maximum technology deployments and working towards your future technology goals can lead to a cost increase, especially during the initial setup period. Therefore, Multi-Factor Authentication setup may bring a potential increase in the cost of training, maintenance, support, SMS, hardware but the rewards for safety and security far outweigh the initial cost in the long term. If you need Greendata to sit down with you to explore where your company is heading with technology and security we are happy to do so, give us a call!
Complexity and Technical Gaps
The insertion of physical authenticators requires additional drivers. These drivers contribute to the complexity of support, deployment, and maintenance. In addition to this, there is no way to blend Multi-Factor Authentication for local devices and cloud-based applications. So in the end changing to a full cloud based service has many benefits in the long term.
Turns Against Users
When you intend to use Multi-Factor Authentication to avoid hackers stealing your data, there is also a slight chance of opposite happening. If you lose your phone or token? There is no way to gain quick emergency access. Therefore, Multi-Factor Authentication sometimes may be very effective to secure accounts from the very people it’s protecting, you and your business.But this is a good thing too sometimes because it can make you and every person in your business think about security in many different ways other than just a password.
Even if Multi-Factor Authentication is setup, password usability is still factor there.
So, with the process of managing passwords in your business, it just adds another layer of maintaining security with MFA. Now the question for you would be, can Multi-Factor Authentication work better than the setting-up different password for every single application?
Positive and Negative Conclusion
If after reading the above, you’re thinking what still motivates businesses to implement Multi-Factor Authentication knowing the various drawbacks or it just seems like too much hassle.
Well, despite a few drawbacks, it’s still the best security solution for Office 365, Azure and for the protection of your business and personal data.
The right Multi-Factor Authentication solution should strike a balance between added security and user convenience, there’s definitely more positives than negatives when it comes to you and your staff being protected.
Can you afford to have a breach compared to the expense of getting an extra layer of security protection?
Finding the right MFA Solution for you
When weighing up the real benefits and challenges of implementing Multi-Factor Authentication, you need to identify the factors that motivate you to implement MFA into your business in the first place.
Remember it’s not only you that uses technology in your business, there’s potential for breaches through every device and from every person that works for you or comes in contact with your business.
These threats are real and happen every day.
This is where an assessment of your requirements, benefits and potential challenges will help you select the best solution that best suits you and your business.
And this is where Greendata steps in to help you.
Either get in touch through our website or call us now on 07 5526 0278
And remember, any solution should take your business towards better security, fulfillment of compliance requirements and also help you improve productivity.
This is so you can spend more time doing what you want and need to do, rather than being a slave to your technology.