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Posted by Alfie McDonald on January 10th 2023
Ransomware, phishing, MITM (Man-in-the-Middle) attacks. These threats alongside the 300 million fraudulent sign in attempts to cloud services everyday aren’t going anywhere soon. In fact, they’re getting more advanced and as a result, more challenging to identify and prevent.
Due to the constant threat of cyber criminals and their evolving means of infiltrating unsuspecting companies small, medium and large, basic authentication methods are simply not good enough.
Organisations need to adopt secure Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) as a basic security protocol if they are to defend themselves from even the most common cyber-attacks. Whilst it might sound complicated, costly and time consuming, don’t worry, it’s super easy to set up and start using!
In this short guide, we’ll cover what MFA is, what BCN Group’s MFA process looks like and what it means for you.
What is MFA?
Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is a authentication system requiring two or more factors to verify a user’s identity and grant them access to an account, this is why MFA is also known as two-step or 2-factor authentication. The secondary layer of security prevents anyone but you from logging into your account, even if they know your username and password.
Common examples of MFA would be a verification code sent via text or email which you would have to enter as you try to log on to an account.
What are the benefits of MFA?
MFA can block over 99.9 percent of account compromise attacks. With secure MFA, knowing the password isn’t enough to gain access, the secondary layer of security makes it incredibly difficult for attacks to get past and access your accounts and company data. Here’s a list of the benefits of MFA.
Requiring users to provide 2 or more credentials prior to accessing accounts, means that hackers are prevented from using stolen passwords, devices, or other information to enter your network.
Whilst passwords are the most common form of authentication, they are also the least secure. Reusing or sharing passwords leads to vulnerabilities for account holders and administrators.
MFA might be a requirement for the industry or geography you operate in. We are all familiar with 2 step processes when logging into our online banking. Follow the same process and secure your organisation!
The pandemic made remote and hybrid working models necessary, speeding up digital transformation across the board. If you employees aren’t using your corporate network, they’re posing a risk. Use MFA for your business applications and provide your employees with the flexibility and access they need, whilst keeping your networks and data protected.
What is the new MFA process?
BCN Group customers who use the Microsoft Authenticator App to sign in to M365 are aware of the simple “deny” or “approve” prompt on the Microsoft Authenticator app. This process has now changed to prevent cases where the “approve” button could be pressed accidentally during an account takeover.
In its place, Microsoft have designed a more secure number entry and geo-location method. Following the change, you will see a prompt on your Microsoft Authenticator app asking you to enter a number shown during sign in. In addition to the number prompt, it will also show the geo-location of the user accessing the account.
How do I access the new MFA process?
Good news, you don’t have to do anything to access the new MFA process! We will be turning on this new security feature across all of our customers Microsoft Authenticator apps on the evening of the 16th of January*. Meaning that when you login on the morning of the 17th of January you will notice the change.
If you would like to find out more on why we are making these changes, please get in touch!
*Only customers who have delegated admin privileges to BCN will notice this change.
What does it mean for you?