If a business is to operate efficiently and successfully, data breaches must be avoided at all costs. Multi-factor authentication could be part of the solution
Most internet users will understand the notion of accessing a personal account using a unique username and password combination – it couldn’t be much simpler. It could be argued, however, that it’s a little too simple.
This concept is far from failsafe. There’s no getting away from the fact that passwords can be lost or stolen in an instant, and as soon as a key lands in the wrong hands, the security of that account owner’s sensitive data is compromised. The recent celebrity photo scandals have only evidenced this.
This dilemma has always existed, but with both the quantity and value of the information being stored behind these digitally locked doors increasing by the day, more needs to be done. This is where multi-factor authentication comes in.
As the name suggests, this is the use of more than one key to enter a locked account. So, as well as a password, the user may also be required to enter a unique and time-sensitive code, or even to use their fingerprint. With more locks to break, any would-be hackers have double the work and are likely to move elsewhere to find what they’re looking for – often the knowledge of more hurdles being put in the way is deterrent enough. It works in much the same way as using two different types of locking mechanisms on a property’s front door.
In a business environment, employees will likely use various passwords on a daily basis – whether for in-house systems or their own consumer-aimed accounts. Either way, the goal is the same: to protect sensitive information and, in turn, the company’s integrity. Only once multi-factor authentication can be introduced into a firm’s IT user policies can water-tight cyber-security move one big step closer.
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