Don’t forget the importance of multi-factor authentication for your e-mail accounts
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a set-up where you need more than one credential to enable you to log in to an application – “something you have” and “something you know”.
Also known as two-factor authentication (2FA), it is in widespread use to provide another layer of security in the fight against cyber-crime.
There are a number of websites and applications which automatically require you to use MFA in order to access their services.
Online banking is a prime example. You normally need to input a code from a security gadget, in addition to your password / PIN, to log in or to make payments. Other applications might use a “one-time code” which is sent to your mobile phone and needs to be entered in a similar way.
Authentication codes are only valid for a very short time – for example a minute or two – which means that for an unauthorised person to gain access, they would have to have your phone in their possession as well as getting hold of your password.
For quite some time now, it has been possible to protect your Office 365 e-mail accounts with MFA. Since the blog we published about this in March 2017, many of our customers have added this additional security level.
Some haven’t, because MFA can be seen as a “hassle,” as it adds an extra step when logging in. However, that extra step only takes a few seconds and you also have the ability to select settings which control when you want MFA to kick in. You might decide that if an employee is logging in to their e-mail account from a PC within your office, you don’t require them to use multi-factor authentication as they are in a safe environment – but log-in attempts from another location do require it.
If you haven’t yet had MFA set up, please consider it urgently!
Over recent weeks, we have seen some situations where an unauthorised party has managed to get hold of a password and then fraudulently send and receive e-mails with the aim of financial extortion or data theft.
After the event, the business has then seen the benefit of putting multi-factor authentication in place!
If you would like us to set up MFA for you, do give us a call. There is a small cost for the initial set-up, but no ongoing monthly fees.