Businesses increasingly face the threat of data breaches as bad actors continue to innovate ways to exploit vulnerabilities in existing systems.
As a result, most businesses understand the value of focusing on cybersecurity.
Worth noting is that small businesses have increasingly become the targets of cybersecurity threats and must remain alert.
Fortunately, methods like the multifactor authentication system help protect employees and businesses from hacks, if enabled.
The system offers protection for sensitive data from unauthorized personnel.
This post explores how businesses can deploy MFA while using solutions like Microsoft 365.
Multifactor authentication (MFA), also known as two-factor authentication (2FA), is an advanced layer of protection when signing in to a website or an application.
MFA requires users to provide extra identity verification like scanning a fingerprint or using a passcode.
MFA can be performed through a multifactor authenticator app or a combination of different authenticators.
Overall, MFA protects user and business data from personal identification or financial assets being accessed by unauthorized third-party individuals.
MFA adds the following benefits to a business system:
MFA solutions are segmented into different levels, and businesses can select the right options based on their needs.
Below are examples of MFA solutions.
This is the primary aspect of multifactor authentication, like a password.
However, this form of MFA is easily targeted by hackers due to vulnerabilities like the recycling of passwords.
Besides passwords, other identifiers under this category include PINs and the option to answer security questions.
This identifier uses a physical asset or information that is explicitly sent to a user.
The authenticator is ideal for proving identity, provided the user doesn't respond to suspected attacks like phishing attempts.
Standard identifiers under this category include codes sent through SMS text messages, one-time passwords (OTP), smart cards, and USB tokens.
The authenticator is based on biometrics, where a user's identity is verified through the information that is unique to them, like a fingerprint, handprint, face, or voice.
This identifier is also referred to as adaptive authentication.
It’s a newer version of MFA that incorporates location, time, or user behavior.
This requires some action by the user requesting access.
The action can be some form of touch or gesture, such as a touch pattern to unlock your device or an app.
Microsoft 365 integrates multifactor authentication as a primary measure of providing additional security to the solution's resources.
The Microsoft 365 admin, be it an internal or external resource, manages MFA policies and procedures.
By setting up MFA, you are adding an additional layer of security to your Microsoft 365 account sign-in.
When users log in after enabling MFA, they will be required to set up verification details needed to complete the MFA configuration.
Users can use text messages, phone calls, or push notifications to the Microsoft app.
Below is the process for a user setting up MFA with Microsoft 365:
To locate the MFA settings in Microsoft 365, you need to first sign in to Microsoft 365.
Both Microsoft 365 and Azure MFA come with some of the best authentication features in the Microsoft environment.
However, selecting the right option mostly depends on your business needs.
Some of the additional identifiers available in Azure MFA include:
Using Office 365’s MFA features needs to be accompanied by several licenses determined by your budget.
The Microsoft 365 MFA adheres to the E1, E3, and E5 licenses.
The benefits of MFA cannot be overemphasized since it guarantees an organization's security.
Enforcing the use of MFA factors ensures increased confidence to stay safe from cyber threats.
To understand more about whether your data is protected, please check out our Data Security Checklist.
Then, consider working with a 3rd-party IT provider like Integrity to help configure your organization’s MFA settings.