Nearly every day we see a headline about hacking, cybercrime, and the costly consequence behind it. From phones to tablets to laptops, all devices are at risk of being hacked. The growing popularity of social media makes it even easier for cyber criminals to find easy targets.
As a business, you not only need to protect your own valuable information but also your customers’ data. A breech can cost millions of dollars and has the power to wipe out a company.
According to a breach report from IBM and the Ponemon Institute, the average cost of a data breach has reached a record high of $4.35 million in 2022. The latest stats from the website getastra.com show the problem just keeps getting worse.
The latest research estimate is that there are 2200 cyberattacks per day. That is one every 39 seconds on average.
And it’s costly. In the U.S., a data breach costs an average of $9.44 million, and cybercrime is predicted to cost $8 trillion by end of this year.
One of the easiest tools available to businesses today is two-factor authentication which has now evolved into multi-factor authentication – or MFA – as many groups are using more than one method. This key step can help you protect your data and potentially prevent one of these costly nightmares.
Because of the rising cybercrime, the MFA industry is also growing – and fast. In 2022, the MFA industry brought in about $12.9 billion.
According to the website marketsandmarkets.com, that number is expected to more than double within five years with the MFA industry topping $26.7 billion by the end of 2027.
One main reason for this increase is the increase in demand for MFA services.
The way it works is the user must use at least two different methods to verify their identity before completing a transaction online. This system protects both the website and its parent company as well as the user with an extra layer of security. There are several popular and effective methods of MFA. Some examples of MFA include providing a code generated from the user’s smartphone, using fingerprints, Captcha tests, facial recognition – and even voice biometrics. All of these methods add new layers of security.
One of the first levels of security is passwords or passcodes. This can also be the easiest to hack into. One of the best ways to protect your site is to require users to use a variety of letters, numbers, and symbols in their passwords to reduce the chance of being a victim of hacking or a data breach.
Another method companies can use for authentication is typically a numeric string – with several digits sent to a phone – typically a code that is only used one time. It can be sent via SMS text or via a special app that provides a special code which can only be used one time. The code could be sent via SMS text message or via a special phone app called an “authenticator”. Microsoft, Google and Apple offer these apps.
Another hot MFA method of security is biometric authentication. This process uses the unique biological characters each individual possesses.
This method is used by many government agencies and private corporations including military bases and airports. It is highly effective and fairly easy to use for both the provider and the user. Some examples of biometric authentication include:
- Facial recognition— This is exactly what it sounds like. Your face identifies you. This is common on newer smart phones for users to unlock thembut it can be inconsistent at times.
- Fingerprint scanners— This is more reliable as we each have a unique fingerprint. Fingerprint scanners are a very popular biometric technology for everyday consumers often used on iPhones.
- Voice Recognition —This is also called voice biometrics. This technology will analyze a speaker’s speech patterns to provide access. These devices typically rely on standardized words to identify users, just like a password.
- Eye scanners— This technology uses iris recognition and retina scanners. However, there can be problems with this system if a person wears glasses or contact lenses.
Another option is token-based authentication. With this system, the user enters their information once and then they get an encrypted string of random characters in return. This “token” then provides access to the site.
In summary, multi-factor authentication is a successful security method because it secures business accounts by enforcing additional authentication requirements, or factors, on top of the standard username and password. Research shows that it is working.
According to Microsoft Reports, the latest research shows MFA can prevent 99 percent of attacks that targets users’ credentials – the most common being passwords.
When choosing an MFA system for your company, make sure it meets certain criteria.
- Easy to use – Make sure it is user friendly for your customer base.
- Provides adequate coverage – Ensure the system will provide the level of coverage and security you need for your business.
- Easy Integration – Most MFA’s will integrate into other apps, but it is good to double check.
- Administrative Control – Make sure your admins can access the system and also check to see what type of reporting and data the system will provide your company so you can track the success.
At Red Maple, we offer a software program for retailers that provides an extra layer of security called Clever Division. To find out more, click here.
What are the latest stats on cybercrime?
According to the website getastra.com, a cyberattack happens every 39 seconds.
What is the difference between two-factor authentication and multi-factor authentication?
Two factor-authentication or verification is where a user is required to provide two methods of identification in order to access a website or an application, but multi-factor requires more than two.
What is biometric authentication?
This method uses your unique human characteristics for authentication such as fingerprints, facial recognition, voice recognition – even retina or iris recognition.