Cybersecurity Awareness Month Tip – Multi-Factor Authentication


Passwords and PINs are the most common forms of single-factor authentication. MFA adds a layer of security by requiring two or more pieces of information—that is, multiple factors—during the authentication process. Fairfield University uses Duo for MFA, this can also be used for personal accounts as well in most cases. 

When It’s an Option, Always Opt for MFA

In some cases, MFA isn’t optional. Organizations often require employees to provide multiple forms of authentication for assets like virtual private networks (VPNs) and cloud-based systems. But in other cases, the choice is yours. Many websites and applications have implemented MFA— but it’s up to you to enable it. Here are three reasons you should always take advantage of MFA when it’s offered:

  1. It’s easy to add – Yes, you must take an action to enable MFA for your logins. But the process isn’t difficult. Sites and applications generally provide simple, step-by-step instructions and clearly explain when to expect an MFA prompt, and how to complete a login
  2. It’s easy to use – As noted, there are multiple ways an organization might implement MFA. But regardless of the technology behind the additional authentication factor(s), MFA adds just a few seconds to your login process. (And the extra seconds are worth it.)
  3. It’s far more secure than a password alone – Cybercriminals have access to billions of stolen usernames and passwords on underground forums. So … what if the only thing standing between a criminal and your data, finances, and files is a compromised password? MFA helps to limit the damage that can be done if a threat actor steals (or buys) account credentials.

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