Use These Best Practices When Implementing Multi-Factor Authentication to Reduce Resistance

Use These Best Practices When Implementing Multi-Factor Authentication to Reduce Resistance

Most company processes and data storage are now cloud-based for many businesses. Cloud adoption was already going strong before the pandemic and was accelerated when millions of employees had to start working from home.

The shift of company assets to the cloud is not lost on hackers. Attacks on cloud accounts skyrocketed by 630% in 2020. Companies that don’t have proper protection on their accounts are suffering the consequences.

One recent example is the ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline. It shut the company down for six expensive days and was caused by a hacker gaining access to an unused VPN account that was not protected by multi-factor authentication (MFA).

Any effective cybersecurity strategy these days has to include cloud account security to prevent the risk of an account takeover or breach. And one of the best protections for cloud accounts is MFA.

Multi-factor authentication blocks a majority of attempted fraudulent account sign-ins. The hacker is blocked even if they have the password because they don’t have access to the additional factor of authentication needed to gain access. In most cases, this is a code that is sent to the user’s device.

But approximately 43% of global businesses do not use MFA despite its effectiveness. In many cases, this is because employees say it’s inconvenient.

How to Reduce Resistance to Implementing MFA 

You don’t have to give up security for productivity if you follow some of these best practices for implementing MFA that will reduce user resistance to the idea.

Offer Flexible Options

There are different forms of multi-factor authentication, and some users might find some more palatable than others. By giving your team a few options, they’ll feel less like they have no choice in the matter and will be more willing to accept a move to MFA for company logins.

Different MFA options include:

  • Receiving the code by SMS
  • Receiving the code through a device app
  • Using a physical security key to authenticate
  • Using biometrics, like a fingerprint scan

Use Contextual Authentication

A great way to reduce unnecessary authentication barriers is to use contextual authentication. This incorporates things like location, IP address, time of day, and device settings into the MFA process.

For example, you can put a rule in place that asks an additional challenge question if someone is trying to access a business account from outside the country. Or remove one of your challenges if a user is located on your office network.

Reduce Inconvenience With Single Sign-On (SSO)

One of the main reasons for employee resistance to MFA is the additional time it takes employees to sign in. Multiply those few extra seconds by all the different business sites and apps employees log into each day, and you can see why users push back.

You can solve this problem by implementing SSO along with MFA. A single sign-on application allows an employee to gain access to all cloud accounts you designate with a single sign-in.

By introducing SSO with MFA, you can actually reduce the time it takes your employees to log into their work applications each day even with MFA enabled.

Involve Employees in the Process

When people are told to adopt a change that impacts a major part of their workday, they tend to push back. They may feel they haven’t been consulted and are afraid that it’s going to make their job harder.

Involve employees in the process before the implementation phase. Communicate with them about why the change will be happening, address any concerns and feedback, and offer training before the implementation.

This type of change management process goes a long way towards reducing resistance to a new business change like the introduction of multi-factor authentication.

Make MFA a Uniform Requirement

It’s important to use MFA consistently for all your company logins. If you only use it for some and not all, two things can happen:

  • You leave your cloud accounts more vulnerable to attacks that can quickly spread throughout the network.
  • Employees look at the inconsistency and might think MFA isn’t that important because it’s not implemented everywhere.

When you implement MFA across all your accounts, then employees understand that you feel this is important. If your implementation is “hit or miss” users may look for workarounds to the process. This can eliminate the security gains you make by implementing MFA. 

Uniformity in your MFA process also improves productivity because users don’t have to switch between different login experiences depending on the app they’re using.

Get Help Protecting Your Cloud Accounts from Quantum PC

MFA doesn’t have to be an inconvenience to your team. Quantum PC Services can help your Sturgeon Bay area business implement multi-factor authentication in a way where everyone wins. 

Contact us today to learn more! Call 920-256-1214 or reach us online.