Learn how Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) can keep you secure
By Anna Wooton, VP/Finance
As a mother of identical twin boys, I recently witnessed a shocking experiment in cybersecurity. They ran a test on some facial recognition software – like the kind you might use to unlock your smartphone or log into an app. The software test failed, allowing both to gain access with facial recognition alone. So, how can you make sure you are safe online?
At BDI, one of my roles is to act as guardian of sensitive information and materials – for our company, clients, vendors and employees. So I’m always curious about tools and resources available to help provide protection at work and personally. I’m so thankful to our BDI IT Team, financial partners and dedicated experts that keep us secure and up-to-date on the latest technologies that can offer protection.
One of these technologies BDI uses to keep our data secure is Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). As more and more organizations have activated this process, MFA may be familiar to you. It’s not just for online banking anymore!
Usernames and passwords are no longer enough to protect your sensitive information. MFA recognizes three categories that make you uniquely you, and relies on these markers to keep you secure in the cyber arena.
How MFA works
Fingerprints and facial recognition as seen in movies are entertaining, but using your own unique fingerprint, face or voice for security and putting it to the test to keep you safe is a wonder.
Your credentials for access using MFA must come from two of these categories:
- Something You Know – PIN or password
- Something You Have – Security token or verification text/call/email
- Something You Are – Fingerprint, facial/voice recognition
I can remember when I received my first security token. What was this gadget? It took a few attempts to adapt but now it is second nature.
The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) along with the National Institute of Standards and Technology recommend you use MFA whenever possible and especially for your most sensitive data. MFA makes it difficult for unauthorized people to gain access, and that helps make sure you are safe online.
Use MFA to make sure you are safe online
When my twins both logged in using facial recognition alone, I was stunned – but grateful to know that MFA requires more than one “something” to get in. Lesson learned: When it comes to cybersecurity, we need to mix it up. Change your PIN or password… change your verification method… and if you’re a twin, make sure you don’t use facial recognition alone!
As the NCSA says, “Do Your Part. Be Cybersmart.”
Check out last week’s Quick Shot – “5 Best Practices For Crafting Meaningful Thank You Letters”