In 2022, protecting your systems and networks has never been more important. During the COVID-19 pandemic, cybercrime soared in the UK – Canalys reported that a staggering 30 billion data records were stolen in 2020 alone; more than the previous 15 years combined. Unfortunately, despite authorities having entire departments dedicated to cybercrime, only around 5% of these criminals are ever caught and convicted. Much of the cybercrime committed during the pandemic was due to an unprecedented number of people working from home – and perhaps not being as vigilant as they might in terms of security, as well as using different Wi-Fi networks which may leave something to be desired in terms of security.
Despite high rates of hacking and cybercrime, many businesses are still protecting their assets with little more than a password. In terms of security, this is akin to going out for dinner and leaving all your doors and windows open. One simple and inexpensive way to protect your systems is through multi-factor authentication. In a nutshell (and as the name suggests), multi-factor authentication is a security feature whereby multiple layers of security are used to help stop hackers in their tracks. For example, with Office 365, MFA requires users to enter a password and then respond to a telephone call, text message, or notification through an app before access is granted. The thinking behind this is as clever as it is simple – while a hacker may be able to get his grubby hands on your password, he won’t have access to your phone. While the most common form of multi-factor authentication is the two-step process, it is possible to add further layers to make sure that your system is completely bulletproof. For example, online banking will often require a password to be entered, followed by selected digits of the password on a second screen, and then, a code which is sent by text message.
A trusted source
As well as preventing cybercriminals waltzing into your systems, multi-factor authentication is also a great way of building trust with clients – particularly within online financial and retail companies. Studies show that customers feel much more comfortable doing business with a brand who seems to have all its ducks in a row in terms of online security.
Getting onboard with multi-factor authentication is easier than you probably think and can usually be done super-fast. Many full integration packages will include lots of nifty features such as fraud alerts, one-time bypass settings, and customisable voice settings to make your system your own.
The bottom line
These days, we live a huge part of our lives online. While this is extremely convenient, it also leaves us open to cyber baddies. As technology advances, criminals are harnessing the power of this tech to carry out their dastardly deeds. While it may not be possible to stamp out cybercrime altogether, installing multi-factor authentication can certainly help to keep your business or private systems as secure as possible.
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