How do you like your password… Strong, Medium or Weak?

While many businesses and employees feel comfortable using a single factor authentication system (i.e. username and password) making the switch to multi-factor authentication can provide an extra layer of protection when accessing sensitive data. A data breach can not only impact the business owner but can cause a wave of chaos throughout the whole company, therefore it is important to take appropriate steps to ensure your data is protected. In fact we’ve implemented multi-factor in our own business and already feel more protected. 

Multi Factor Authentication (MFA) technology refers to a method of confirming identity by requiring a user to successfully present two or more identification factors, whether it be a code, second password or finger print.

84% of IT decision makers and business owners believe that weak passwords are responsible for up to 60% of all cyber attacks

A survey was conducted with small and midsize business owners and IT decision-makers at companies with less than 1,000 employees in the United States, the UK and Australia to further understand what businesses thought of MFA.

According to the survey, a handful of businesses are not feeling the need to adopt MFA, with 25% saying that the solution is too expensive whilst also being difficult for businesses to implement and manage, especially with limited IT resources. This is a perception that certainly needs changing!

It is alarming how data protection isn’t thought of as a priority, with a whopping 61% of businesses recording they feel that MFA solutions are designed for larger companies. Having said that, almost all the respondents agreed that a technology solution is needed to augment passwords. MFA can actually be quite beneficial to small and medium sized businesses and it does not break the bank either. These days MFA can be achieved through a secure app on your phone. This adds even more layers to your password protection as you likely have a passcode (or FaceID these days) to unlock your phone.

Find more information on MFA in this eBook

81% of data breaches involve weak or stolen passwords

The common SMS message authorisation has been deemed an insecure method of authentication because it can be intercepted by a cyber attacker. Another popular method of MFA is hardware tokens, yet these also pose a threat because they can be lost or stolen, resulting in a security gap leading to a breach in security for yourself or your business.

The 2017 Verizon Data Breach Report states that 53,308 security incidents, 2,216 data breaches across 65 countries were reported in the past 12 months, including but not limited to fields such as healthcare, professional services, IT, the public sector, manufacturing and retail.

So, how can we minimize the chances of these cyber-attacks occurring?

Weak passwords are a serious problem, even though 83% of business owners and IT decision makers say that their employees are aware that password best practices are important, there still is a serious concern about relying on passwords alone to protect your company.

Offering some form of password training or having a policy in place to encourage password safety is a good step in ensuring that all procurement measures have been considered to protect your business and employees from a cyber-attack. These policies though need to be matched with technology that further strengthens passwords. With MFA, a hacker could potentially know every password you use but still not be able to get on to your important networks.

Sure, MFA can be an additional annoying step, though as the news of data breaches keep rolling in, you can sit back with ease and be sure that you are protecting your data to the best of your ability. So, just remember next time you sigh at the idea of entering a second code or password that the inconvenience is long outweighed by the extra protection you receive with MFA.

 

Contact Calvert Technologies today if you have any concerns regarding securing your business' data.

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