What is MFA fixedfeeit

What is MFA? Use MFA to Protect Your Business (Video)

By Ashlyn Eperjesi

Dec 4, 2020
MFA – short for Multi-Factor Authentication – is an extra way to validate that the person logging in is really you. Top Portland Oregon IT service Provider, Fixed Fee IT has a video and a blog post ready to help!

Rather watch a video? Check out our latest video on Multi-Factor Authentication!

Since the days of simply typing in a short password are long gone, it’s time to upgrade your login process. Otherwise, your accounts are a prime target for hackers to crack into.

This is especially important for accounts that contain private personal or client information, like bank accounts, retirement accounts, and cloud storage systems. Thankfully, you can prevent a majority of malicious login attacks by simply enabling MFA.

There are countless options when it comes to almost every aspect of MFA. Between app choices, authentication methods, and which accounts to protect, it all can become rather overwhelming. Never fear, we’re here to help!

Step 1: Choose the Best Authentication Application

Search “MFA” in the Appstore and you’ll find dozens of options for MFA apps. But how do you know which ones to trust?

Typically, if it’s a well-known company or high on the Appstore list, then it’s a safe choice.

We recommend Duo Security for businesses because of the scalability and ease of use. Microsoft and LastPass also have good MFA app options if you’d like something familiar.

Step 2: Pick a Secure Method of Validation

Now it’s time to decide how you’ll verify that it’s really you behind the login attempt.

There are generally three options – push button, pin code, and SMS or voice message.

Our top pick is push-button verification. It’s the easiest and quickest, and you won’t have to copy/paste anything. If you allow app notifications, all you’ll need to do is unlock your phone and push a single button. Everyone on your team can easily add push-button verification to their login routine.

If the push button isn’t available, then you’ll want to use a pin code to verify your login. This is a randomly generated list of 6-9 numbers. Most MFA apps generate a new pin code every 30 seconds, so double-check you’re typing the right code.

A word of warning: never share your MFA pin codes. Not with your IT team, not with your boss, and definitely not with strangers. Internet hackers can pretend to be these people and will use your MFA pin code to gain access to your accounts.

The last option that is sometimes available for MFA is to use text or voice messages. We strongly recommend you do not use this as a way to validate a login. The Director of Identity Security at Microsoft agrees. You can read more about why this is an unsafe choice, but long story short – hackers can easily infiltrate your SMS system to get access to your text and voice message MFA codes. If you’re going to go through the effort to set up multi-factor authentication, choose a more secure method of validation.

Step 3: Decide Where to Use MFA

Finally, it’s time to protect your private information. A good rule of thumb is if you don’t want someone to have access to it, you need to put MFA on it. Personal information – whether yours or someone else’s – is like gold to hackers. The more barriers put between hackers and your personal information, the better.

If you have an IT Service Provider, they can walk you through securing your accounts and simplify the process. Otherwise, here are some places you definitely want to enable multi-factor authentication

  • Banking accounts
  • Work accounts and emails
  • Retirement accounts
  • Cloud data storage
  • Password storage
  • Anywhere that your credit card information is saved

Most of these accounts have walkthroughs and tutorials dedicated to setting up MFA. However, your IT team likely has experience setting up a variety of accounts. You should be able to reach out to them for additional help.

Multi-factor authentication is one of the best cyber security tools available right now. And with more attacks happening every day, it’s an essential way to stay ahead of the hackers. Make yourself a trusted partner for your clients by keeping their information protected. The first step: enable MFA.

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