Harris School Solutions

Why Multi-Factor Authentication is a Necessity in 2023

Did you know that in 2022, 25% of US school districts fell victim to cyber attacks? This shocking statistic continues to increase year over year as cyber security attacks become more common and complex.

One of the main reasons public sector organizations continue to be targeted is because they possess a wealth of sensitive data, employ large workforces with access to that data, and provide critical services that can be disrupted to compel ransom negotiations. To make matters worse, many organizations lack the latest technology necessary to safeguard against modern cyber security attacks. Fortunately, there are some great ways you can protect yourself and your organization.

Security solutions like advanced firewalls, intrusion detection automation, and data replication protect you from most brute-force style cyberattacks. But when it comes to password cracking or social phishing scams, Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is hands down one of the most effective ways to protect your software and data.

MFA does a great job of protecting your data because it targets the most vulnerable link in your organization’s cybersecurity — your people. Put simply, MFA adds an extra layer of security by requiring multiple authentication factors, such as a text message or an email containing a code, to access your software. This extra step to confirm your identity reduces the risk of unauthorized access and provides reliable protection against phishing attacks. It creates a technological barrier against everyday mistakes we’re all guilty of. Things like reusing old passwords, changing just one character when prompted to update passwords, and writing them on sticky notes are all common practices that MFA protects against.

Why is MFA so Important to Overall Security?

According to the recent 2023 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, 81% of hacking-related breaches used stolen or weak passwords. Additionally, 80% of employees repeat passwords despite knowing it’s not a best practice. Luckily, there is an easy way to prevent 99.9% of password-based attacks on your accounts— implementing a cloud-hosted solution with Multi-Factor Authentication.

The Benefits of Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) Include:

  • Enhanced Security: MFA adds an extra layer of security by requiring multiple forms of authentication, making it more difficult for unauthorized individuals to access accounts or systems.
  • Protection Against Social Engineering Attacks: MFA is the most effective way to protect against attacks that target your staff, as attackers would need more than just a compromised password to gain access.
  • Compliance Requirements: MFA is often required for state and local regulatory compliance, helping organizations meet security standards and protect sensitive data. Meeting these standards can also help lower insurance premiums.
  • User-Friendly Experience: Many MFA methods, such as push notifications or email messages, provide convenience and ease of use for users while still maintaining security.

Implementing MFA in 2023 is honestly one of the best preventive decisions modern organizations can make to protect themselves from malicious hacking attempts. The more organizations that make the change to cloud-hosted solutions protected by MFA the more vulnerable those without it become as targets for hackers.

Want to learn how you can protect your Harris software from 99.9% of malicious password hacking attempts? Visit our MFA page for more information and resources –>