Why you should use multi-factor authentication when creating documents
In a fast evolving digitized world, our work environment needs to adapt quickly to new challenges for increased data security to prevent against any type of data breaches. The question of how to protect sensitive data without sacrificing the advantages of modern technology or limiting the ability to work flexibly from multiple devices has brought online identity confirmation into focus. The solution, which has quickly matured into an industry standard, is called multi-factor authentication (MFA).
In simple terms, MFA is about making sure that a user is who he claims to be. The identity is checked and confirmed multiple times by requesting at least two proofs of authentication from the user when logging into an application. For example, upon first entering a password, the second step involves sending a verification code to an e-mail address or to a mobile phone number. Only after validating this second authentication step the user will be able to successfully log in.
123456 should not be a password
MFA introduces an additional layer of security in the log in process. This has gained more importance as chosen passwords are often unsecure or saved, making it susceptible to hacking. The most used password of 2020 was actually ‘123456′. Despite the known risk of such an unsecure password, many do not consider themselves or any of their stored information a relevant target for hackers. A serious and often costly fallacy is banking on the hope that their account will be spared among the masses if online users. However in circumstances of a password spray attack, adversaries “spray” passwords at a large volume of usernames, where they attempt to acquire a list of accounts and log into all of them using the most popular, or most likely, passwords.
Using MFA as a protection prevents against this targeted attacks, making even unsecured passwords many times more secure.
MFA is a must for tech companies
Technology giants have a particular interest in protecting themselves from online attacks and have therefore been at the forefront of the introduction of MFA. Google has the widely used Google Authenticator, which is installed as an app and provides unique passwords during log in. IBM created Security Verify Access to provide multi-factor Authentication. The leader in MFA is Microsoft with its Azure Active Directory, which performs billions of authentications every day to prevent against large-scale hacking. With very easy steps for the individual user this cloud-based solution allows for a high level of security. It is therefore no surprise that well-known companies have quickly adopted this solution. Salesforce, Workplace, SAP, to name a few, use this technology to ensure data security for their systems and millions of users.
Security is mandatory
In some areas MFA is not just a desirable security upgrade but an indispensable prerequisite. In the case of financial service providers, the European Union Directive requires that the identity be confirmed by at least two factors. In the United States, health data security is guaranteed by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), whose rigorous security requirements are met by MFA, which is why it is often used. Since 2018 MFA has also facilitated the high security requirements for GDPR compliance in Europe.
It’s better to be safe than sorry
In every area where sensitive data needs an additional layer of protection MFA guarantees high security without compromising workflow and usability. Professionals in the healthcare and legal fields often spend several hours per day dictating and documenting sensitive information, which requires both efficiency and security. Solutions that comply with privacy policies and have the highest security standards including MFA should be their preferred choice, when it comes to selecting a complete workflow set-up.
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