Your clients may not realize it, but they’ve probably been using multi-factor authentication for years. Multi-factor authentication is used on banking and credit websites, email and social media. In fact, the Federal Trade Commission recommends it, saying, “Use multi-factor authentication, when it’s available. Multi-factor authentication adds another layer of protection against attacks.” So what is multi-factor authentication?
What is Multi-Factor Authentication?
Multi-factor authentication is one way to combat stolen passwords. Multi-factor authentication systems rely on verification of two or more factors from the following three groups:
- First: Something you know, such as your user ID and password
- Second: Something you have, such as your mobile device
- Third: Something you are, such as your fingerprint or other biometrics
Why do I need Multi-Factor Authentication?
As data encryption has made it harder for hackers to access data, they’ve found poor password security to be the weak link protecting sensitive information. Enabling multi-factor authentication whenever possible will protect your firm from data breaches by making it harder for scammers to steal passwords.
- Between January and May 2017, 177 tax professionals or firms reported data thefts involving client information. These breaches affected thousands of clients.
- The IRS currently receives 3-5 data theft reports per week from tax practitioners. Not all data losses are from phishing scams, but it is a common tactic.
- The Anti-Phishing Work Group reports a 65% increase in phishing attacks from 2015 to 2016. They have seen more than 92,000 unique attacks per month.
Our new infographic explains what multi-factor authentication is and why your firm needs it: