How Office 365 Multi Factor Authentication Simplifies the MFA Process - CWPS

Posted by Gary Utley on July 24, 2018

Today, having a username and password to access an account isn’t enough. Hackers are working hard to steal any credentials they can get; Fortune says they’re selling them for around $15 on the dark web. NBC News says you can pick up an entire identity with everything from social security numbers to bank logins for around $1,200. 

Experian published some of the latest statistics on data theft: 

  • 2017 saw 1,579 data breaches resulting in 179 million exposed records.

  • That’s a 44% growth in data breaches.

  • That’s a 389% increase in the number of records stolen.

  • Credit card numbers stolen increased by 88% up to 14.2 million.

  • 158 million social security numbers were exposed.

It seems like cybercriminals are on a roll, and once they have your data, it goes up for sale on the dark web. The average cost to businesses of a big data breach, according to CSO, is around $3.6 million annually.

These are all reasons why the lasted security best practices have encompassed multi-factor authentication as an on-the-ground way to lessen risk. This article looks at the benefits of Microsoft Office 365 multi-factor authentication as a must-have tool to improve data security.

How Azure MFA works in O365

O365 multi-factor authentication works as a two-step approach to thwart hackers. It’s an effective way of preventing hackers from gaining access to employee accounts, which can then be used to access corporate or personal data.

O365 multi-factor authentication can work in a number of ways:

  • A phone call goes to the user’s registered device and delivers a PIN. The user enters the pin # to login.

  • Or, a text message can be sent with a PIN that’s used to sign-in.

  • A mobile app notification is sent through the app and the user can enter the PIN.

  • Or, the mobile app verification code will display on the mobile device every 30-seconds. When logging in the user finds the last verification code on the app to sign-in.

  • Third-party OATH tokens can be configured and accepted in Office 365.

The IT administrator has the power to select the verification method in Azure. There is no extra cost for adding this security feature. 

System vs. Application Level MFA

In addition to providing needed security from hackers, O365 multi-factor authentication offers the following benefits:

  • It’s very easy to set up and use. Individual users can set up and manage their own devices with just a few clicks.

  • It’s highly scalable in the cloud, integrating with your on-premise AD and custom apps.

  • It’s always on, with guaranteed 99.9% availability under the highest of industry standards.

O365 multi-factor authentication is a reliable service designed to ensure security for all of your team members, on any device, no matter where they are. 

Conclusion – MFA is Essential, But Doesn’t Have to Get in the Way

We know the threat from cybercriminals is increasing. O365 multi-factor authentication offers companies peace of mind knowing that even remote employees will be protected. At the same time, employees will not chafe under the restrictions of this security protocol; O365 multi-factor authentication is an easy-to-use best practice that every company should take advantage of. 

To find out more, contact us.

2019 Cybersecurity Threat Ebook

Topics: Office 365 EMS