The Business Advisory Blog

The Business Advisory Blog

Insight, news and updates from Alliott NZ Chartered Accountants, Auckland New Zealand. The views expressed here are the views of the author and should be discussed in further detail should an article be relevant to your individual circumstances.

While every effort has been made to provide valuable, useful information in this publication, this firm and any related suppliers or associated companies accept no responsibility or any form of liability from reliance upon or use of its contents. Any suggestions should be considered carefully within your own particular circumstances, as they are intended as general information only.

Vanessa Williams
Published on

Strengthening Online Security

In today's digital age, passwords alone are no longer sufficient to keep our personal information and online accounts safe.

With cybercriminals becoming increasingly sophisticated, it is crucial to add an extra layer of security to protect ourselves and our clients from potential cyber-attacks.

One powerful tool that has gained popularity in recent years is multi-factor authentication (MFA). By combining multiple identity verification methods, MFA provides a robust defence against unauthorised access.

In this article, we explore multi-factor authentication and its importance in safeguarding our online presence.

The Evolution of Security Measures

Gone are the days when passwords were considered the ultimate safeguard for our online accounts. As technology advances, cybercriminals find new ways to exploit vulnerabilities and gain unauthorised access to sensitive data. Recognising this, industry experts have developed more sophisticated security measures, and multi-factor authentication has emerged as a key defence strategy.

Understanding Multi-Factor Authentication

Multi-factor authentication, as the name suggests, combines two or more methods of identity verification to grant access to an account. By requiring multiple factors to prove one's identity, MFA significantly increases the difficulty for cybercriminals to steal or compromise login credentials. The three main types of multi-factor authenticators are:

  1. Something You Know: This includes information only the user should know, such as a personal identification number (PIN), password, or the answer to a specific challenge question (e.g. the name of your first pet or the street you grew up on).
  2. Something You Have: This involves possessing a physical token, smartcard or receiving a one-time code via SMS on your mobile device.
  3. Something You Are: This utilises biometric data, such as fingerprints, facial recognition or iris scans, to verify identity.

The Benefits of Multi-Factor Authentication

Multi-factor authentication provides several key benefits in ensuring the security of our online accounts and sensitive information. Firstly, even if cybercriminals manage to obtain your password, they would still need access to your physical device or biometric data to fully unlock your account. This additional layer of security significantly reduces the risk of unauthorised access.

Secondly, as multi-factor authentication gains popularity, more service providers are adopting it as a standard security measure. Major banks, social media platforms and software providers now offer MFA as an option to users. By enabling MFA on your accounts, especially for email and remote work software, you strengthen the protection of your systems and sensitive information.

The Role of MFA in Overall Security

Implementing multi-factor authentication alongside other security strategies is crucial to fortify your systems against cyber incidents. By combining MFA with other protective practices, such as regularly updating software, using strong passwords and education about potential threats, establish a comprehensive defence against cyber threats.

Passwords alone are no longer sufficient to protect our online accounts and sensitive information from cybercriminals. Multi-factor authentication has emerged as a powerful tool to safeguard our digital presence. By requiring multiple factors to prove identity, MFA significantly reduces the risk of unauthorised access, even if passwords are compromised.

To learn more about implementing this strategy, visit the ACSC website.

Topics: business cybersecurity data digital disruption security small business technology