Just a username and password won’t cut it anymore. Even crafting your longest and most secure password ever will still leave you exposed.

The reality today—especially for small businesses—is that there are too many ways cybercriminals can steal personal information, and it all starts with your passwords.

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is what it’s called when an app or device requires two or more verification factors to grant you access. For example, maybe you have a thumb print and a password to log into a system. Or maybe you get an email with a temporary PIN that you enter along with your password. These are both MFA.

MFA comes in many forms and is an essential component of access management and security for small businesses.

Don’t leave your personal, professional and business security up to the next criminal ready to grab it. Keep reading to learn how MFA works and get other crucial business questions answered.

What types of MFA are there?

As with everything in the tech world, there are different types of MFA. The main types are grouped into the types of factors they use, which are:

  • Things you know (like passwords or answers to secret questions)
  • Things you have (like a smartphone or a digital token)
  • Things you are (like fingerprints or facial recognition)

What’s 2FA and is it different than MFA?

2FA is “two-factor authentication,” meaning it’s a type of MFA. MFA simply means a login action uses “at least two” factors, meaning it could be two or it could be three or four.

Is multi-factor authentication a legal requirement?

If you work in certain industries, you don’t have the luxury of waiting to implement MFA. Below are also the industries that are required to—and already have—MFA in place. Even if your company isn’t in one of these industries, these companies are the best versed and can be resources for you. Reach out to someone you know who works for a company in one of these industries to ask for advice on implementing MFA.

  • Healthcare
  • Finance
  • Defense
  • Law enforcement
  • Anything related to the government

The biggest benefit of MFA is that it increases your organization’s security. Today, more than ever, companies have to protect their business data and their customers’ data. The yesteryear of “if” has become a today of “when” with cybercrime.

Strengthen your business defenses today. Identify which crucial systems with sensitive information don’t already use MFA. Remember your devices need MFA, too. Then, get in touch with a trusted team for help.