Do I really need multifactor authentication (MFA)…?

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The short answer is YES! We’ve all heard about the havoc hackers can wreak. Pretty much every account you have on the internet has the potential to be hacked, and your data stolen. And when your data is stolen, your identity and money are likely to be next. While MFA is not perfect, it is the best option available right now to keep you, your identity and your money safe.

Unfortunately, many of us know about scams and data breaches and think ‘that won’t happen to me’… but guess what, it can, and it does!

At Mac Aid, we see many people who have wished that they got their MFA sorted before they were hacked. Don’t wait until it is too late – the pain of setting up MFA pales into insignificance compared to the pain of losing your data, identity or your savings.


What is MFA?

MFA front doorMFA is a security measure whereby you need additional proof of identity to access your online accounts, apps, etc… It’s a multi-layered defence system, so that even if one security factor is compromised, there are more barriers to others accessing your data.

Mac Aid Senior Technician, Sean tells us that the easiest way to think of MFA is to imagine the front door to your house. MFA is like adding a fingerprint security door. While someone can copy/borrow/steal your front door key, your fingerprint security door adds that extra layer of protection. So what does MFA (your security door) look like? MFA is either something you know, something you have or something you are, or a combination of the three. Newer technologies are also adding in your location, context and behaviour-based factors, along with biometrics as authentication factors. But for now, the most common authentication factors are:
Something you know: – One-Time Password; PIN; Secret Questions;
Something you have: – Authenticator App; SMS code; Token;
Something you are: – Fingerprint; Voice; Facial Recognition


Is MFA the same as Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)?

While MFA and 2FA are often interchanged, MFA is the superior option. 2FA requires only two factors, while MFA can be two or more additional proofs of identity to access your accounts.


Do I have to use MFA all the time?

MFA usually occurs when you or someone else tries to log into your account, app or device for the first time, or after you have changed your password. It is not the inconvenience you may imagine it to be. In fact, it is quite simple. The Verge has set out how to set up your MFA on a variety of platforms, including your Apple devices, Facebook and Dropbox.

The rise of working remotely has led to many businesses adopting a multi-factored approach to security.

However, the initial setup up is important to get right. Setting up your MFA incorrectly could result in locking users out of your systems, loosing access and in the worst-case scenario, not protecting you or your data.


How can Mac Aid help?

For personal use, Mac Aid recommends that the most valuable MFA is an authenticator App. Both Google and Microsoft have their own versions, and if you are unsure which one would suit you best, give us a call and we can work through the options with you. For multi-user systems, our techs have up-to-date advice and solutions for your business needs.

Contact Mac Aid now to book a consultation tailored to your needs.