Why Multi-Factor Authentication Is Crucial for Organizations Running Microsoft 365
If you’re here, it’s likely you’ve heard about the strong link between Microsoft 365 and a slew of recent account breaches.
While Microsoft does all it can to help its users avoid security breaches, they still happen. And recently, Microsoft engineers admitted something quite astounding:
Nearly every single one of the most recent Microsoft-related breaches happened when no multi-factor authentication solution was enabled.
We understand this seems too simple to be true, but we’re all about facts, and this is just another fact — a very useful one to know for anyone who uses Microsoft. Here’s what you need to know about multifactor authentication and how to switch it on and keep your Microsoft account protected.
What Is Multi-Factor Authentication?
Multi-factor authentication, also known as MFA, is one of the best ways to protect any type of account or login. This goes for Microsoft accounts, Apple accounts, email accounts, accounts linked to software and hardware, and the list goes on.
Essentially, multi-factor authentication requires you to do two (or more) things before you log into your (multi-factor authenticated) account. As an explanatory example, let’s say you’ve turned on multi-factor authentication for your email account.
This means that when you log into your email, you’ll need to authenticate yourself in multiple ways. You’ll have to provide:
- A piece of information (a password, for example)
- Proof that you have a unique device in your possession (like a phone) and/or physical proof of your identity (from your fingerprint, for example)
If this sounds complicated, let’s break it down even more.
Essentially, you will login to your email as usual (with your email address and password). Then, you will be prompted to do one or two additional things. In most cases, you will be asked to show proof that you have a specific device, which you linked with the account when you set up multifactor authentication. This device is usually a smart phone. To prove that you have this smart phone device in your possession, a special code will be sent to your phone via text message (in most cases). You will then need to enter this code as you continue to login.
In some cases, you may be also prompted to provide a biometric login. This is something like a face scan or a fingerprint
Why Is MFA Important?
Unfortunately, the days of using passwords only to access accounts are long past. Even a new-to-the-game cyber hacker can hack a password with ease. Proving that you have a specific device unique to the user, however, will stop most hackers. Therefore, turning on MFA with your Microsoft account will boost your security by a huge margin.
Not Sure How to Enable Microsoft 365 Multi-Factor Authentication?
Let’s face it: No matter your particular industry, your job likely demands that you juggle numerous accounts, logins, passwords, and codes. You’ve probably had to master at least two or three specialty software programs. And you might even have been tasked with handling your own cybersecurity, especially if you do any type of work from home on your own devices.
That’s a lot to know.
When this is the case, you simply don’t have time to mess around with Microsoft 365 multi-factor authentication. Still, this is such an important option to toggle on because if you don’t, the security ramifications are serious.
Therefore, the best way to handle this job is to hand it over to your managed service provider.
A good managed service provider will be able to handle all of your security, including making sure that your Microsoft account is securely locked down and not in danger of being breached. Give your MSP a call today to get assistance with this issue. As far as your company’s security goes, this is something that simply can’t wait.
With over 35 years in the business of supporting and implementing technology for the SME market, and 6 years previously in Corporate IT and Voice. I have seen a great deal of change. The only common thread is I have always focused on the Business Wise application of Technology. We always try to look 5 years ahead of the current technology to make sure our clients are on the right track to meet current and future needs.