What Makes MFA Security So Effective?
The idea of the digital password was first discussed at MIT in 1960. Do you know what else was created in the 60s? The cassette tape. But because of changes and advancements in technology, cassette tapes are all but extinct.
A lot can change in 60 years, but the idea of a password has stayed pretty much the same. And it’s hurting everyone’s cybersecurity. Ironically, two years after the inception of the password, the first password theft occurred, a harbinger for what was to come. Today, passwords are one of the weakest links in our cybersecurity infrastructure.
Enter MFA security, the Spotify of passwords.
Threat to Mankind—Or Just Your Data, But Still
Passwords are easy to guess, easy to lose, and easy to forget. They can be intercepted, they can be stolen, and they can be brute-forced. They’re also the only thing standing between you and your data—which makes them a pretty big deal.
A still widely-respected study from 2020, Stanford University Professor Jeff Hancock and Tessian released research findings that claimed 85% of data breaches were caused by a human element i.e., a bad password, clicking on a phishing email, etc. We know that passwords alone just don’t work.
It gets worse: a cloud security company called Barracuda analyzed millions of emails and discovered that if you’re an employee of a small business, you’ll experience 350% more social engineering attacks than an employee of a large company.
And just how many attacks are happening? Is it that big of a problem? You can probably guess our answer, but here’s some info to back us up: there were almost 52 million data breaches in the 2nd quarter of 2022 (a period of 3 months).
The writing is on the wall—passwords alone are not going to cut it anymore. We need to move towards a more secure form of authentication, and that’s where MFA security comes in.
So What Is MFA? And How Good Is It Really?
MFA stands for multi-factor authentication. It’s also known as two-factor authentication (2FA) or two-step verification.
With MFA, you’re no longer just relying on a single password to protect your data. You’re adding an additional layer of security, making it much harder for hackers to get through.
The most common form of MFA is using a password along with a one-time code that’s generated by an app on your phone. When you try to log in, you’ll enter your password as usual and then input a code that’s generated by the MFA app.
You can also get a text with a code or link to confirm your login, receive a phone call, or use something physical like your fingerprint.
Microsoft found that using MFA can block 99.9% of automated attacks, and Google says that its Advanced Protection Program—which uses MFA—has prevented 100% of automated account hijacking attempts.
So yeah, MFA security is a pretty big deal.
What About MFA Makes It So Effective?
We don’t want to keep beating the “passwords by themselves are the worst” drum, but we will just one more time. Passwords can go for as little as $3 on the Dark Web, so the rate of return on buying your password and then hacking the credit card information on your website is very high.
But it would be nearly impossible for a hacker to buy your password AND gain access to your cell phone. That’s why one-time codes aren’t sent to your email—you need to have something that’s yours and only yours (aka an app on your phone).
Strengthen Your Security by 99.9% With Common Angle
Like we said, Microsoft is making big claims about how effective MFA is, and we agree. As cybersecurity experts, we believe that MFA security is the easiest way to build an almost impenetrable line of defense against attacks.
But we also know that MFA can be a bit of a hassle. No one wants to have to fumble around for their phone every time they want to log into their email. That’s where Common Angle comes in. We make it easy for you to set up and use MFA without any headaches.
Plus, we offer other features like single sign-on (SSO), which lets you use one set of credentials to access all of your applications—including those that don’t support MFA security. That way, you’re not only protecting your data with the best possible security measures but you’re also making your life a whole lot easier.
Have any questions? Give us a call or set up a free consultation at a time that works for you.