Multi-Factor Authentication Offers SMBs Enterprise Level Security
By Frank J. Ohlhorst
Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) are faced with many of the same cyber security challenges as their larger enterprise brethren. However, unlike the Fortune 5000s of the business word, SMBs tend to lack the cyber security expertise, security technologies, and dedicated personnel needed to keep systems secure from cyber criminals. What’s more, SMBs also have to support a digital workforce that is often oblivious to cybersecurity concerns, and lack the resources to fully train end users in the critical concepts of data hygiene and cybersecurity.
Unfortunately, those factors make SMBs appealing targets for cybercriminals, who seek to perform nefarious activities, sight-unseen, slipping away without detection, with critical business or personal data. Nevertheless, SMBs need not fall prey to the ravages of cybercriminals, and those defensive measures do not have to cost a fortune.
Since the root cause of many cyber-attacks aimed at SMBs can be classified as account comprises, it makes the most sense to strengthen account security. However, that is much more easily said than done. Traditional methods, such as complex passwords, hidden account names and even VPNs still suffer compromises, simply because end users are not fastidious when it comes to protecting account information. Many are fooled by phishing schemes, or by social engineering scams, or even foiled by leaving account information, such as passwords in public view. What’s more, many end users fail to properly secure their own devices, which may have saved account information stored on them.
Perhaps the only viable solution to that dilemma comes in the form of a paradigm shift when it comes to logons and accessing systems, a paradigm shift best fueled by the concepts of Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). MFA allows SMB operators to install another layer of logon security that potentially eliminates the threats from compromised credentials.
For SMBs, MFA eliminates the threats posed by stolen credentials and more. MFA effectively prevents metadata mining, phishing attacks, chatbot gathered information, and countless other attacks that use subterfuge and data gathering to reveal user account information.
MFA accomplishes that by extending the login process beyond the simple username password challenge and adds additional elements to the process, such as PINs, keys, challenge questions, and so forth. That in turn guarantees secure access is maintained and SMBs have a much better indication of the who/what/when/where of systems access. Adoption of MFA is further eased by recent technological innovations, such as cloud services, where MFA can be deployed using a software as a service solution, eliminating the need to reengineer a small or medium businesses IT operations.
For more information, such as white papers, case studies, and how-to guides on implementing MFA, and cloud-based security, please visit the resources provided by AuthAnvil at https://authanvil.com/resources