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Cybersecurity Awareness: Multi-Factor Authentication

October 7, 2021 | Tips, Tricks and Member Safety. Share this article: ShareCybersecurity Awareness: Multi-Factor Authentication on Facebook Share Cybersecurity Awareness: Multi-Factor Authentication on Twitter

Multi-Factor Authentication

What is Multi-Factor Authentication?
Multifactor authentication (MFA) is defined as a security process that requires more than one method of authentication from independent sources to verify the user’s identity. In other words, a person wishing to use the system is given access only after providing two or more pieces of information which uniquely identifies that person.

How Does it Work?
There are three categories of credentials: something you either know, have, or are. In order to gain access, your credentials must come from at least two different categories. One of the most common methods is to login using your username and password. Then a unique one-time code will be generated and sent to your
phone or email, which you would then enter within the allotted amount of time. This unique code is the second factor. Here are some examples in each category.

  • Something you know: Password/Passphrase, PIN Number
  • Something you have: Verification Text, Call or Email
  • Something you are: Fingerprint, Facial Recognition, Voice Recognition

When Should it be Used?
MFA should be used to add an additional layer of security whenever possible, especially when it comes to your most sensitive data – like your primary email, financial accounts and health records – making it more difficult for unauthorized people to log in as the account holder. Some organizations will require you to use MFA; with others it is optional. If you have the option to enable it, you should take the initiative to do so to protect your data and your identity.

Source: Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)

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