Security professionals face a constantly evolving variety of network security threats, and there are seemingly countless tools to combat them. One of the most essential is multi-factor authentication (MFA).
Why is MFA so important? As noted by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), “Implementing MFA makes it more difficult for a threat actor to gain access to business premises and information systems, such as remote access technology, email, and billing systems, even if passwords or PINs are compromised through phishing attacks or other means.”
What is Multi-Factor Authentication?
In case any newcomers stumble upon this article: MFA, or multi-factor authentication, is a security enhancement that allows you to present two different credentials when logging in to an account. It creates another layer of defense that makes it more difficult for an unauthorized person to gain access.
Start With MFA
Implementing MFA is a straightforward, necessary step to increase your business’s protection against cyber crime. With so many choices on the market, not adopting MFA is simply not an option. And yet, for many organizations, implementation and compliance are still lacking.
In fact, DataProt reports that only 26% of companies use multi-factor authentication.
But adoption is only part of the problem.
Recommended Reading: A retina scan or facial recognition instead of a security question about your mother’s maiden name? Learn about additional security and authentication solutions in Biometric Security for Businesses.
From Adoption to Compliance
Even when companies roll out MFA as part of their network security procedures, getting employee buy-in is a challenge all its own.
According to the 2021 Remote Workforce Security Report, 35% of security professionals surveyed reported that MFA was one of the top cybersecurity policies and protocols employees are most resistant to.
Our post, When Employees Skip Network Security, details some of the 2021 Remote Workforce Security Report’s biggest findings — and ramifications — when it comes to less-than-diligent network security compliance. Here are just a few of the report’s findings:
- Security workarounds are widespread.
- Employees focus on productivity, not security.
- Essential apps can be risky.
- IT teams struggle with equipment, bandwidth, and logistics.
For all the details, read the full post here.
Benefits of Multi-Factor Authentication for Business
MFA is a good business practice, especially in the eyes of your customers and clients. According to the Telesign Consumer Account Security Report, “70 percent of consumers lack a high degree of confidence that their passwords can adequately protect their online accounts, and 68 percent want companies to provide an extra layer of security.”
And it’s no wonder. From Facebook and LinkedIn to CapitalOne and Equifax, major data breaches continue to make headlines, adding fuel to the fire of customer anxiety and mistrust. Neglecting MFA implementation and compliance could be sending your customers the wrong signal.
Recommended Reading: When Employees Skip Network Security
Your Business Can’t Afford to Wait
For both individuals and businesses, the need for a more universal adoption of MFA has never been greater. CISA Director Jen Easterly puts it plainly: “Whether you call it multi-factor or two-factor authentication, this simple step can make you 99% less likely to get hacked. Think of it like an airbag or the seatbelt in your car—an extra layer to keep you safe in the event of an accident.”
As far as Easterly is concerned, industry leaders should continue to sound the alarm until everyone is protected, employees and consumers alike. “We need to get the word out that to stay safe online, every American needs to have More Than a Password on all their sensitive accounts,” she says. “And if you have an account that doesn’t offer an option for MFA, urge your provider to begin offering this essential security feature.”
Does your network security solution include “this essential security feature”? If not, OpenVPN Cloud may be the ideal solution for your business.
Recommended Reading: In Multi-Factor Authentication with OpenVPN | Community Edition, Eric F. Crist explores authentication methods — one-time password (OTP) authenticator apps such as Microsoft Authenticator, SMS, hardware tokens, mobile devices — used to verify a user’s identity and keep hackers out of your network.
Simplicity & Clarity With OpenVPN Cloud
With clear expectations from consumers that their data be protected, the current era makes MFA urgent. But so much resistance to MFA from employees also means that urgency requires a streamlined, low-barrier–to-entry MFA solution.
We know that there are a lot of MFA tools on the market and that it can be hard to find the one that’s right for your business.
The 2023 State of Security Report [Forcepoint] found that “84% of companies report security alerts are becoming increasingly overwhelming as more security tools are added to the mix. This adds to the desire to consolidate tools and dashboards to introduce simplicity and increase control and visibility.”
When all is said and done, the best MFA tool is the one your business will use. Thankfully, OpenVPN Cloud offers a superior user experience, on a cloud-based platform, backed by what one of our customers calls “world-class” customer service. “I would recommend other companies consider OpenVPN Cloud for their use case,” he adds. “The combination of simplicity, scalability, and price is unbeatable.”
With a built-in zero trust solution, OpenVPN Cloud makes implementing MFA simple — and it isn’t a hassle for your employees.
Recommended Reading: How OpenVPN Cloud Enables Zero Trust for Small Businesses
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