Published on:

2 June 2020


Rachael Adams

What Is Multi Factor Authentication and Why Is It So Important for Business?

Multi Factor Authentication is free, easy to use, and adds an extra layer of defense to your IT security. You simply cannot afford not to enable this incredibly effective feature in your organisation.

Australian businesses are losing millions of dollars to scammers each month, with over 80% of hacking-related breaches caused by stolen or weak passwords, or phishing scams. Strong passwords are no longer enough, so tightening the methods in which we access our business applications is crucial in reducing risk.

What is MFA/2FA?

Multi Factor Authentication (MFA), also referred to as Two Factor Authentication (2FA), adds an extra layer of security to the apps, services and accounts you access by requesting an additional form of identification during the sign-in process. Traditional usernames and passwords can be stolen in data breaches, phishing scams, and brute force attacks. MFA requests a second form of verification, so even if a password has been compromised, the hacker must still crack another security layer before they can access your account.

How does Multi Factor Authentication work?

Rather than just asking for a username and password, MFA requires additional credentials such as a code from a user’s smartphone, answer to a security question, fingerprint, or facial recognition.

What much does MFA cost?

MFA is free with Office 365 subscriptions and most cloud applications. You can implement these services yourself, but typically clients engage TechPath to assist. For a small labour fee, our technicians will help your team download the correct applications, accurately configure the authenticator, and provide a quick ‘how to’ so they know how to use the system.

How long does it take to setup?

Setting up MFA is generally a very simple process and takes just a few minutes per user, per application. Our technicians allow 20 minutes for an Office 365 MFA user setup, which covers the entire process – installing the relevant apps, testing, and demonstrating how to use the service. It is best to allow an additional 5 minutes for each extra cloud app that needs to be configured.

Is MFA hard to maintain?

Maintenance and support is covered by TechPath Managed IT.  Our team are available to assist with any technical issues or assist users if they lose or replace their phone.

How does it affect my team?

The team member will need to access the authenticator app via a smartphone either on their company or personal device. Once enabled, MFA is very easy to use. Office 365 uses its own streamlined process that prompts users every 14 days to authorise access. Other apps may require they enter a code on every login, or whenever the application is accessed via a new device, or from a new location.

What are the risks if I do not enable MFA?

We have seen too many security breaches that could have been prevented if MFA had been enabled. There is also the risk of IT costs to repair breaches, reputation damage, loss of revenue, or even worse, loss of your business.

What are the next steps?

TechPath takes IT security very seriously. We protect our own systems using MFA and want to see all clients experience the same level of confidence.

To ensure your data and reputation are well protected, we are urging all customers to implement MFA across Office 365 and other applications as soon as possible.

Talk to our team if you are ready to make to move to a more secure IT environment or would like to learn more. For more business and technology tips, news and views, follow TechPath on LinkedIn.