As ransomware continues to gain momentum and cyber gangs are as brazen as ever, many organizations are faced with the same conundrum as we head into a new year.
Over-prioritize cybersecurity and risk productivity or under-prioritize productivity and risk the overall security of your organization.
What are company leaders to do?
Failure to Use Multi-factor Authentication
Despite the risks, survey after survey continues to find that many organizations are not 100% compliant with the use of multi-factor authentication (MFA). Despite repeated warnings by cybersecurity officials and the promise that MFA will protect your organization from most account breaches,Microsoft recently reported that many organizations have a dangerous lack of authentication security. In fact, one survey showed that only 22% of Azure users had MFA enabled. What does this mean? Over 75% of Azure users are putting themselves at unnecessary risk of account breach that is mostly avoided by the simple use of MFA.
User Convenience and Multi-factor Authentication
You might be wondering, rightfully, why all organizations aren’t adopting the use of MFA and requiring all employees to do the same. That is a valid question. It often comes down to inconvenience and adoption reluctance. Many employees don’t understand the necessity of MFA and see it as an inconvenience to set up and a daily nuisance to use. On top of that, many organizations are more fearful of risking employee productivity than they are of a potential data breach. This is a grave mistake.
Cybersecurity Hurts Productivity
Here’s the hard truth: cybersecurity is actually a big productivity barrier. However, a data breach can cause major downtime for an organization—not to mention expense and customer inconvenience.
Failure to adopt the use of MFA due to fear of lost productivity is a short-sighted view of cybersecurity.
4 Ways to Manage Productivity with Authentication Protocols
- Establish Authentication Rules.
What does this mean? In the same way that not every employee needs access to every company file, not all employees require the same authentication process. It is dependent on their security clearance, job duties, and the files they are accessing. In addition, authentication can be differentiated based on the employee’s working location, time of day, the device used, etc. If one of these is out of the normal, the authentication process can initiate. If all is normal and within business hours at a typical business location, companies can avoid inconveniencing employees with unnecessary authentication protocols.
- Establish Recognized Devices.
Your managed IT service provider or in-house IT guy can set up an endpoint device manager to establish recognized devices. This allows some automation to simplify authentication for devices that are recognized in the network.
- Pair with a Single Sign-on (SSO) Solution.
If workers are frequently switching between multiple apps throughout the day, SSO allows them to use a single MFA action for all of the different app logins. SSO essentially merges the authentication process for multiple apps into just a single login. Employees avoid the inconvenience of completing the MFA process multiple times per day.
- Utilize Biometrics.
Depending on your industry and willingness to invest in this solution, biometrics can be an extremely convenient form of authentication. Biometrics include the use of retina, facial scan, or fingerprint to verify the user. If the investment is too large for your entire organization, consider beginning by initiating the use of biometrics for high-level staff only.
Improve Security With Authentication
One of the easiest things your organization can do to protect itself is to require the use of multi-factor authentication for your employees. Despite common misconceptions, MFA is not a one size fits all model. Working with a managed IT provider can help your organization determine the most efficient and effective way to utilize multi-factor authentication within your organization—without losing valuable productivity.
To get started, schedule a 15-minute discovery call with PK Tech.