Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a vital part of security for businesses in the modern world. Whilst people once had to worry about information or money being stolen in a physical form, the criminals of today have the potential to access almost everything online, thanks to our primarily digital approach.

Strong passwords and secure logins are the first barricade in cyber security, but multi-factor authentication (MFA) is the second line of defence. Once you’ve entered your login details, you’ll be asked for some extra information to prove that you are who you say you are, and not a scammer who has stolen your details. This will most likely be an extra code, biometrics like a fingerprint, or a secure USB key.

Let’s explore why MFA is so essential for cyber security. 

Reduce the risk of hacking

Firstly, the major benefit of MFA is that it reduces the risk that your business will fall victim to a scam. Hackers are getting ever-more clever, and especially in the facilities and maintenance sector, multiple people may have access to passwords and devices such as laptops. This may mean that login details use company email addresses and then a simple password in a format such as [company name][year] for ease. 

MFA means that there’s an added layer of security to ensure that information that is supposed to be secure remains so. Especially in the facilities sector, the release of secure information such as door passcodes could be disastrous, so it’s vital to keep them locked up as securely as possible.

Protecting your emails

You may think you have your information locked up, but have you considered your email security? Many of us have our emails on our phones, or unlocked once a laptop password has been entered. Unfortunately, we don’t think about the mine of information that our emails contain, leaving us vulnerable to hackers.

From addresses on order confirmations to invoices with our bank details on, even a small amount of information can help a hacker take control. Using MFA when you login to your email account, and ensuring that you log out again or lock it when you’re not actively using it can help keep precious information safe.

Reduce instinctive clicking

When we’re in a rush, we can quickly click through security questions or enter passwords without really thinking. Unfortunately, modern scams are very sophisticated, with malicious messages made to look genuine unless you look closely. Workers might click next on a screen instinctively, unwittingly giving over precious information. 

MFA puts a second barrier in place, forcing the user to slow down and enter further codes, which might give them enough time to realise that something isn’t quite right.

How to implement MFA as a facility or maintenance manager

Facility or maintenance employees are likely to have work phones which MFA applications can be installed on. These apps generate codes which work in tandem with the security on your computer – when you log into an email account, for example, you’ll need to enter a password and then a one-time code from the app, which is only valid for a short period of time.

For those without work phones, a hardware security key can be another effective way to implement MFA. These are small devices that get plugged into your computer; when you touch them they act as a MFA device and unlock your account. They are often keyed to your biometrics, so they are very hard to hack, and can be easily attached to keychains or lanyards – perfect for maintenance professionals.