The use of Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is a very smart and proactive choice for network security. Users are being presented with an increased number of deceptive tactics in order to gain their credentials.
While employees have been given instructions on what to do if they encounter a phishing attempt, there is always a chance that a user's credentials will be compromised.
Here is where MFA fits into your security stance: even though a scammer may obtain a username and password of an individual, they still need to get past a second layer of authentication. This is very difficult to do as the user is required to approve an authentication request on something they physically possess (cell phone, token, or other device). Even if a user’s credentials are compromised, MFA protects those credentials from being used.
As you deploy a MFA solution, prioritize your efforts on systems that are externally exposed like VPN and email. You can further protect your environment and increase your security by implementing MFA internally as well, for things like administrative access to servers or financial systems.
Training is an important component of your MFA implementation. Not only do you need to train your employees on how to use the solution, but it is important that they know to authorize authentication requests when valid. Do not forget this step! If your users just blanket accept requests they’re defeating the purpose of this security control.
MFA works! As an example, this security posture and reinforcement of user vigilance against email phishing saved a customer from a network compromise earlier this month.
A user received a DUO push informing him that someone was attempting to login using his credentials from Quebec. This user was physically located in Michigan and hadn’t been in Canada recently. The user rejected the request and reported a fraudulent login attempt to the IT team. Not only was the unauthorized login thwarted, but the IT and Security team was able to investigate, reset the user’s primary credentials, and ensure that the attempt wasn’t a part of a larger hacking effort.
At NetWorks Group, we work with our customers every day to help implement and manage practical security solutions that reduce risk. MFA is a critical component of every organization’s security strategy and should be prioritized if not implemented. If you need help selecting, implementing, or managing MFA or other security strategies, reach out to NetWorks Group today! We’re here to help.
Authored by: Mike Stanton, System Support Specialist at NetWorks Group
January 27, 2022
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