Why You Should Be Using Multi-Factor Authentication in Your Small Business
Cybersecurity is on the mind of thousands of business owners after severe hacks have hit prominent companies over the last few years. These days it seems that no business, no matter how large it is, is safe from cybersecurity threats. Customers trust that companies will keep their payment and personal information safe, and businesses trust that they won’t ever have their vital business data such as financial records or intellectual property stolen.
The truth is, in 2018, you can’t simply rely on your old passwords, no matter how complex they are, to keep your business and customer data safe. These concerns raise the need for enhanced data security using multi-factor authentication.
What is Multi-Factor Authentication?
Think about how you get money from the ATM; you need a debit card and your PIN number. This is one of the most common forms of multi-factor authentication. It is essentially a combination of something that you have, something that you know, or something that you are in the case of biometric data. You physically must have your debit or ATM card, and you have to know your PIN to gain access. Without one of these two things, you’re unable to access your banking information and money.
The key to keeping data incredibly safe is to have a couple of walls protecting your data from hackers. It might seem a little more complicated during your everyday operations, but it will significantly improve your data security. Here are a few of the benefits of implementing multi-factor authentication into your small business:
Placing additional safeguards in between a person and critical data is the best way to improve your cybersecurity efforts. Especially if you implement biometric security measures like fingerprint or iris scanners, hackers will have a much more challenging time breaking into your digital vaults and stealing your data.
You might be using the most robust passwords that you can think of, but if a hacker were to steal them, your personal information and business data are as good as theirs. It’s a lot harder for hackers to steal physical keycards or badges, and almost impossible to spoof an employee’s iris or fingerprint without their cooperation.
It might seem like a small change to simply put another authentication method in place, but it will improve your security measures significantly. In fact, according to data from leading cybersecurity experts Symantec, 80% of data breaches could be prevented with a two-stage authentication system.
It’s Easy to Implement and Use
While it may seem like adding a new stage to your login process would complicate things, many businesses are finding that implementing a multi-factor authentication system actually makes things go much smoother.
With multi-factor authentication, users won’t have to type in their passwords every single time they want to log into your system. This means that they can set an extra-secure and complex password to log on initially but can use their keycard, iris, fingerprint, or another physical authenticating tool to log in.
You can also use something like single sign-on where users will go through the multi-factor authentication process once, and from there they will have easy access to all of their authorized apps and programs. This makes the sign in process much quicker, and your daily operations will run much smoother.
Multi-Factor Authentication Doesn’t Need To Be Expensive
When you think of multi-factor authentication, you might think you’ll have to spend thousands of dollars implementing the system. In reality, there are many digital tools you can use to achieve a secure system, and it will hardly cost anything to your business.
We mentioned that employees could use their iris, fingerprints, or key cards as an authentication tool, but you can also install specialized apps as an additional security measure. With these apps, employees can have unique security codes sent to their phone when they go to log in, and once they enter the unique code, they will have access. The codes are only temporary, and because it is on a different device, it still serves the purpose as a second factor in the security system.
The Future of Cybersecurity
With costly data breaches continuing to impact even the largest corporations in the country, experts predict that improving cybersecurity will continue to be a priority for the foreseeable future. Security measures like multi-factor authentication used to be only something large corporations were concerned with, but now it is affecting businesses at a local level too.
It is never too early to start improving the security measures in your business and with the advancements in technology, it has never been easier than now to start implementing a multi-factor authentication system. It might take some adjustments for your employees, but in the end, the benefits that your business and customers will receive are worth the initial investment and hassle.