Do you know who is logging into your systems?
Everyone knows security must be a top priority for companies these days. This is especially true for their digital presence. The damage a malicious party can do to a company by having access to sensitive information is virtually limitless. Unfortunately, we live in a world where there are more parties than ever before looking to cause these types of problems. Some want to do it for financial gain. Others are happy simply to be a nuisance. In any case, to keep your company safe from these outside threats, auditing and monitoring who has access and how it’s used is essential.
Do You Know Who’s Logged In?
Years ago, password protection was generally considered enough to keep bad people at bay. All your employees had IDs and passwords, so only they were allowed to certain areas of your digital landscape. Perhaps you also had various levels of access, to further separate who could access what. While this may have been the best most companies could afford to do at one time, the truth of the matter is that nowadays, you’re leaving yourself wide open to attacks if this is how you plan on defending against them.
The new standard for security is what’s called MFA or multi-factor authentication. As the name suggests, this is a way of only allowing people to access sensitive data if they can prove who they are a number of different ways.
Thinking about how you use an ATM makes for an apt analogy. If a thief were to steal your ATM card, they couldn’t actually do much with it, could they? Once they got to the ATM, they’d realize it wouldn’t withdraw a single cent without your PIN number. Without the two factors of authentication required, the card and the PIN, the thief has little more than a piece of plastic.
Time and time again, we hear about people and even large corporations getting their information hacked because of one weak password. Hackers know how to take something as seemingly harmless as access to the email of the lowliest employee and leverage that until they get to the treasure they’re after. With MFA, even someone who picks their name and year they were born as a password won’t be an easy target.
Identity Assurance Is a Must
Let’s look at this another way too. Many people give a key to their home to a neighbor they trust. You’re probably familiar with this practice. However, now let’s say you gave out 100 keys to all your neighbors. If you came back from vacation and your valuables were missing, you’d have no way of knowing which neighbor was responsible. This is what can happen when you don’t use identity assurance to protect your digital assets.
Identity assurance is great for auditing your systems. It’s like a sign-in book people automatically use before they’re allowed access. This way, if something goes awry—even if it was unintentional—you can track down who needs to be held accountable.
With multi-factor authentication, steps are taken to help boost your confidence that the person you’re speaking to is exactly who they say they are.
A Disgruntled Employee Can Really Damage Things
A perfect example of what is possible without proper identity assurance is if a disgruntled employee decided to take aim at your company. We all know disgruntled employees can be a burden to deal with, but imagine that this individual is involved with your IT department. In fact, let’s say it’s an IT manager and they’re not just hacking into low-level employee’s emails to read their private messages. Instead, they’re focusing on a senior VP.
Think of the damage they could cause. We’re not just talking about all the ways they could mess with digital systems or use their new found “authority” to order sweeping systematic changes. They could read private emails and even send messages from the VP’s account saying all kinds of things.
With the proper security protocols in place, you can make this worst case scenario far less likely to ever happen.
MFA Really Helps as Users Have to Identify Themselves
Switch to MFA practices and you’ll be able to sleep better at night and protect your company like never before. In the past, you’ve been letting anyone with a certain sequence of letters and numbers get all kinds of access to sensitive information.
It’s important that you stop trying to use decades-old approaches for fighting modern digital opponents. Doing so will make you a vulnerable target for all manner of malicious parties.