Multi-Factor Authentication

Another day, another technology acronym to learn.

Today, we are talking about Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). If you have ever used an ATM card, you have used MFA. The first “factor” is that you needed the card to put in the machine, the second, your PIN code. Finance has long enforced these types of MFA mechanisms to keep our data and transactions safe.

The days of a single password protecting your sensitive information and providing adequate data security are over. This has been driven by a number of factors. The amount of computing power available to “hack” passwords is readily available, networks are often insecure and prone to snooping, and most people use passwords that are not that difficult to guess!

If you are storing any type of data in the cloud, be sure to check if the provider will allow you to setup MFA for your account.  This generally means providing a cell phone number so that they can text you login codes to use when logging in.  Typically, this happens randomly or only under special circumstances so that you do not have to constantly enter a code from your text messages!

Many services, including Microsoft’s Office 365, Dropbox, and others, offer MFA as a service to protect your data.  A focus for Stringfellow in 2016 is to build out strategies for our Clients to enable MFA in a way that integrates with their existing infrastructures and is easy on the users.  We have already enabled full MFA services for all our internal systems and Office 365 services with great success!  We look forward to rolling this out in 2016 to keep our users and their data safe!

Written by: Edward Stringfellow