Information security has a weird history of simultaneously evolving and devolving in the Information Age. Those who know what they’re doing can encrypt and hide data and information that no one could ever find their way into without access, in a way that has never been possible before the digitisation of information; however, the average person’s data has never been more at risk. In the past, in order to steal a person’s bank information, their life story, their identification, you would have to sneak into their home, or even crack a safe. The files would be hidden, and to gain access you would have to put yourself in harm’s way. Now, all you have to do is have some knowledge of software exploits or even just a passable scam to take all of that data without leaving your house.

To a lot of people, their personal information isn’t even that important anymore, after all, we share it on social media constantly. Where we are, who we associate with, almost everything you could ever want to know about a person is often just a google search away. Even then, security and privacy is something we should all take more interest and pride in, and two-factor authentication – in which software asks for a second form of identification upon the user logging in from a previously unidentified location – is an easy and very basic way to achieve some extra security on our accounts. After all, one email and password from your Instagram is all a nefarious user needs to get to more private information, like your bank account, your email, your online life. It might not always be your fault that your information is set loose on the world, big corporations suffer data breaches, and whilst it isn’t unavoidable it is an unfortunate fact of cyber security. It is always a good idea to take protective measures for yourself.

As a business, this security becomes leagues more important. It isn’t just the information of the company and those you employ that you want to safeguard from digital grief, but your customers too – the lifeblood of any business.

Multi-factor authentication is ensuring that you need more than just one form of identification to access data or software, without compromising the user experience. MFA typically involves four steps, layered on top of the usual username and password:

  • Registration: A person links an item, such as a cellphone or a key fob, to the system and asserts that this item is theirs. 
  • Login: A person enters a username and password into a secure system. 
  • Verification: The system connects with the registered item. Phones might ping with verification codes, or key fobs might light up.
  • Reaction: The person completes the process with the verified item. Entering verification codes or pushing a button on a key fob are common next steps.

MFA is a great way of affording your business, its clients and your teams better cyber security, and with compliance standards like GDPR, will become even more prominent as time goes on and security becomes an even more ever-present issue. Cloud networks are another reason to ensure your network involves MFA in its security, as when using cloud networks users are not necessarily on the network locally, or even physically. That data is at a higher risk of attack, although if correctly protected, extremely secure. You may use software such as Microsoft Intune in your business to manage connected devices, but with so many endpoints it can become a large target for cyber attacks. This is yet another reason to make your business as secure as possible, as just one data breach results in catastrophic effects for the business.

MFA, firewalls, and following GDPR will ensure your business is ready for whatever malicious user or software comes your way, guaranteeing continued confidence in your data protection systems, customers and your teams.