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Protecting your passwords with MFA is a simple step you can take to protect your business from a costly cyber attack.
With our dependency on technology and computer-based systems increasing year over year, a growing number of businesses are moving operations online. The start of the pandemic drew record numbers of companies to shift their entire workforce online as well. With that migration, damages caused by cyber attacks have increased by 7,000% over the past five years with an attack occurring every 10 seconds in 2020.
Whether your company operates remotely or in person, the use and presence of technology and digital assets put your business at greater risk of a cyber attack. Luckily, protecting your organization from a costly cyber crime doesn’t have to be difficult. There is a simple step everyone can take to secure your online presence and protect your business, and it all starts with your password.
The average person has close to 80 passwords which can be a lot to remember! It’s common to use the same or similar passwords for multiple sites but that level of security won’t cut it anymore.
Proper passwords should be longer in length (8-12 characters or more) and should avoid commonly used passwords or easily guessed phrases. For best security, it’s recommended to use a password manager to securely store your passwords. Additionally, experts remind users to never enter any passwords into an unsafe or unsecured site. This means ensuring your web apps use HTTPS to secure your passwords in transit.
But passwords only offer one layer of protection. To help prevent your company from a cyber attack, our Cyber Insurance experts at Morris & Garritano recommend bolstering your login security by enabling Multi-Factor Authentication, or MFA, as part of your overall access management strategy.
MFA goes beyond even your best-crafted password to secure your data with a second layer of protection. MFA uses an additional form of identification to really make sure it’s you when allowing access to your accounts. This involves a combination of something you know, something you have, and/or something you are.
Due to the state of telephone networks today, Microsoft warns users to abandon once useful telephone-based MFA solutions like one-time codes sent via SMS and voice calls and instead replace them with newer technologies such as app-based authenticators and security keys.
Using MFA is free and usually built into common workplace suites such as Google or Microsoft. Yet studies show many businesses opt out of MFA claiming the extra step of verification can be tedious. However, the extra step is always worth it as MFA has been proven to block 99% of attempted cyber attacks!
It’s best to engage with your IT department or IT vendor to set up an implementation plan that not only establishes MFA but educates your employees on using the feature and explains the purpose and need for added security.
Any account that accesses critical data, applications, private data, and all secured systems within your business should be protected with an extra layer of security.
This is especially important with remote workers accessing files on a company server from outside the office.
Enabling MFA can have a significant impact on the availability and affordability of your cyber insurance coverage. By implementing MFA in your company, you are showing proactive risk management by lowering your vulnerability to attacks. In fact, due to the steep rise of cyber claims, MFA is becoming a common condition required to qualify for cyber insurance coverage.
Contact Morris & Garritano at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how implementing MFA can help your business and the benefits of having cyber coverage or check out our Cyber Coverage Resources for more information.