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Multifactor Authentication: Essential for Enterprise-Sized Businesses

2 min read

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Kris Kilgard

Here's why MFA is important for your organization

One compromised password.

That's all it took to create a crisis that resulted in fuel shortages on the East Coast of the United States.

The Colonial Pipeline hack, which took down the biggest fuel pipeline in the country was because just one password was compromised. With that password, hackers were able to infiltrate the network. The password for Colonial’s compromised VPN account has since been discovered inside a batch of leaked passwords on the dark web. The fact that one compromised password led to this crisis should give all business leaders pause—including those at enterprise-size organizations.

It's all too easy to think multifactor authentication is for "the other guys," you know, small businesses that don't typically have robust IT departments and all the protections that medium-sized businesses might have in place. But the truth of the matter is, if a single password can compromise operations at the largest fuel pipeline in the nation, it's essential for enterprise-size organizations to take notice and take steps to better protect their networks.

That's where multifactor authentication comes in.

What it is and how multifactor authentication protects your business

Multifactor authentication could have prevented the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack and the resulting shutdown of the system—the first in their 57-year history. Ransomware attacks often leave businesses without much of a choice but to pay an exorbitant price to regain access to their data. This is why it's so stunning that this relatively simple protective measure could have made all the difference for Colonial Pipeline and gas customers on the East Coast.

So, what is multifactor authentication? It's a security measure that requires two or more verification factors to check user identity before they gain access to the network. For users, that means they may need to log in to their account by using a password and another form of verification or several. Those might include a code sent to a smartphone, a badge, biometrics, or even information only you would know. Multifactor authentication is typically an optional feature, but when viewed from the perspective of those who've fallen victim to cyber-attacks, including critical infrastructure in our country, the choice is clear.

But isn't my current network security strategy enough?

Simply put, no. Hackers and cybercriminals are working around the clock to gain access to business networks, so you need every protection possible in place to ensure your data is safe. Having the right network security partner on your side is a critical component of that. And given how hackers got the password that stilled the pipeline, we do know that your company's greatest asset, your people, is also your organization's greatest security liability. Passwords used across multiple platforms can be stolen and shared on the dark web, and without multifactor authentication in place, that puts your business at risk.

Ready to explore multifactor authentication for your
enterprise-sized business?

When it's time to up your security game, putting multifactor authentication in place is just one of the many steps you can take to stay a step ahead of hackers. Ready to learn more? Contact us to find out how we can support your business by making your network safe, including putting multifactor authentication in place.

 

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