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What is Multi-Factor Authentication?

By April 25, 2022January 10th, 2024No Comments

What is Multi-Factor Authentication?  It is actually quite simple and more organizations are using it with the recent cyber threats.  Actually you have probably already used it!

Have you swiped your bank card at the ATM and then entered your PIN (personal ID number)?  Or how about logging into a website that sent a numeric code to your phone, which you then entered to gain access to your account?  If you have done either of these two you have already come across MFA!

Screen Shot 2022-03-21 at 10.01.45 PMMFA, sometimes referred to as two-factor authentication or 2FA, is a security enhancement that allows you to present two pieces of evidence – your credentials – when logging in to an account. There are 3 categories for credentials:

  1. Something you know (like a password or PIN)
  2. Something you have (like a smart card), or something you are (like your fingerprint).
  3. Your credentials must come from two different categories to enhance security – so entering two different passwords would not be considered multi-factor.

Here is a simple way of putting it.  If you’ve turned on MFA or your bank turned it on for you, things will go a little differently. First and most typically, you’ll type in your username and password. Then, as a second factor, you’ll use an authenticator app, which will generate a one-time code that you enter on the next screen. Then you’re logged in – that’s it!

Stopping all online crime is not a realistic goal, but simple steps can massively reduce the likelihood you’ll be the next victim.

Read more about how to effectively implement multi-factor authentication here.

We hope all of this festive cheer and advice is useful and can be used to ensure you get presents and not coal in the company stocking this year! 

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