Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is critical to implement when hosting your software in the cloud, in order to adequately protect your mission-critical systems and data from external cyber attacks like ransomware. MFA adds an extra layer of cybersecurity through additional verification steps beyond a simple login and password combination, which is an increasingly vulnerable method of securing access to your network. Numerous breaches and the constant sale of such credentials on the dark web make it incredibly easy for even amateur hackers to obtain your leaked user accounts – introducing an added authenticator will help defend you from these threats (and demonstrate compliance).
Here are seven reasons why it is critical to implement MFA for your cloud-hosted systems:
1. Extra Cybersecurity Layers are Cost Efficient
Cybersecurity is unfortunately too often seen as an expense instead of an investment – to lack it will invite more costs (between damages and fines) and diminish your brand, while having it protects against those dangers and can give you a competitive edge. Cyber risk is a question of when you will be exposed, not if, and proactively securing your endpoints will save you money, time and maybe even your business in the long run. Multi-factor authentication is a simple solution to implement compared to many of the enterprise-level security tools on the market, but one that provides persistent protection against the most common types of attack.
2. Seamlessly Connect MFA with Cloud Apps and Services
Modern MFA is technology-agnostic and implementing the right solution will allow you to integrate it seamlessly with other cloud applications within your IT stack. Multi-factor authenticators can be delivered through SaaS, which not only grants a faster deployment over on-premise software, but enables easier integration with all manner of hosted apps as well as with various device operating systems. This means it can be installed on any smartphone, tablet or notebook laptop and connect to your Microsoft 365, Azure or other program environment.
3. Employees Have Password Fatigue
Cyber stress is an overlooked contributor to human error and cybersecurity negligence, as your employees and coworkers have to juggle multiple passwords and logins at work, just to go home and remember more passwords and logins. Password fatigue will lead to more bad practice among your network users, which will in generate an upwardly scaling amount of cyber risk. This is even more of a precarious situation for cloud-hosted data that can be cross-exposed to public networks and unsecured endpoints that your employees are connecting to.
4. Remote Workers Need Endpoint Protection
Users working remotely definitely create a need for MFA when working in a cloud environment to protect against the lack of oversight for bad security practices, ignorance and negligence. Many employees worked from home for the first time in 2020, and the lessons during learned that period of mass digital transformation must be applied for policy going forward for continuing telecommuters, hybrid and temporary workers, subcontractors, etc. to prevent the blind spots in your cybersecurity perimeter from being exploited. Authentication balanced with training and Zero Trust policies will help you build a foundation for securing your first and last line of cyber defense.
5. Free Up IT Security Resources and Relieve Staff
The transition for so many remote workers during the COVID-19 pandemic was felt most acutely among network management teams and individuals, with inhouse IT resources stretched to the breaking point. Even as the hybrid workforce begins to take over, there will remain lot of ground to cover for what are often undersized departments already struggling to handle an enormous scope of responsibilities. If your IT staff are working nights and weekends just to be able to get to your existing infrastructure needs, then you certainly need MFA for an even faster-paced cloud environment.
6. Data Security and Privacy Regulations Require MFA
Depending on your industry, you likely already require multi-factor authentication whether you are cloud-hosted or not, and you will be at risk of considerable fines if you are caught without it after a data breach. Regulators at the local, state and federal level are charging offenders in the financial services sector millions in penalization fees for lacking or even inadequate usage of MFA. This is setting a precedent for other institutions, as evidenced by the Biden administration’s 2021 cybersecurity Executive Order mandating authentication factors for government agencies.
7. The Dark Web Has Your Passwords
Perhaps the greatest reason to implement multi-factor authentication right away is that statistically your passwords were likely already compromised in the gigantic volume of data leaks over the past few years, numbering billions in 2020 and 2021 alone. Such information is sold for as cheap as $2 in a complex cybercriminal ecosystem hosted on the dark web, where webpages are not indexed by search engines. What is suspected to be millions of users can openly trade your login credentials with anonymity, leaving you vulnerable to hackers with enough skill and lucky timing catching one of your employees reusing an exposed password.
Talk to Secure Cloud Services About MFA and Hosting
MFA is increasingly a mission-critical component of a desperately needed layered approach to cybersecurity that provides the most cost-efficient protection against the multitude of cyber threats that endanger your systems and data. The experts at Secure Cloud Services will help you learn more about how to best leverage multi-factor authentication and additional managed IT services and solutions for both cloud-hosted environments.
Contact SCS today to discover more benefits of MFA and learn where and how to best implement authentication for your business.