Security and protecting your login credentials to various sites continues to be a hot topic in today’s business world. Just last week I found my husband (whom I adore) storing his passwords to all our personal websites in a notepad app on his phone. I just shook my head in utter confusion. I couldn’t believe someone in my own home didn’t understand the risk in writing down these usernames and passwords to everything from banking to emails. His only response was, “Well how will I remember all those?”. I couldn’t seem to explain to him why this was so scary! All someone had to do was access his phone and BAM! They would have access to everything in our lives.
We don’t think about the risk. When we log into different sites, all we care about is completing the task at hand. It’s not often that we sit and think about how important cyber security is. We want fast, easy to access and easy to remember credentials to get our job done! This is great, but what about the risk? How much risk are we willing to assume for ease of use? Standards of data security are constantly evolving as hackers and fraudsters plague the news, our lives, and our businesses. When creating usernames and passwords, we often forget the delicacy of the data that those two simple words protect.
That is where Multi-Factor Authentication (sometimes called MFA) comes in. MFA is a method of verifying your identity using at least two different methods, to be granted access to a website or program.
- Something you know (your username and password).
- Something that you have (a code sent to your phone for instance).
- Something you are. This method involves verifying a characteristic that only you would have as an individual (a fingerprint scan, voice recognition, etc.).
We may often hear of MFA when accessing our banks and are asked to enter a code sent to your phone. The bank does this to protect you, not to make it harder on you, because this helps ensure you are really you!
Your business software is no different. Taking these precautionary steps in validating your identity is vital to protect you, your data, and your business. While it’s somewhat of an inconvenience at times, mitigating the risk could mean what? Protecting your company from fraud litigation, police charges, protecting your clients, the life of your business and all the employees that work for you. That’s an inconvenience worth incurring to reduce the risk!
So while I continue urging my husband to better protect our personal information, I urge you to protect your business; to embrace MFA, reduce your risk, and at the end of the day, take a little weight off your shoulders by doing so.