Many businesses believe that in order to keep their data and additional network security safe, setting up complex and hard-to-guess passwords will help prevent phishing attacks. That is not always the case, as setting up complex passwords alone is not sufficient to prevent the data from being phished. As a result, they set up multi-factor authentication to strengthen their accounts.
However, despite the various versions of multi-factor authentication businesses deployed to strengthen their business, companies still report a rise in phishing attacks. According to a study, MFA bears weaknesses and can be vulnerable to phishing attacks, communications protocol weaknesses, fake push alerts, and SIM swap attacks.
Hackers usually avoid the options of MFA; however, they no longer target not just the first authentication factor but also the second factor. Taking advantage of a weakness in the MFA communications protocol, hackers are able to collect the MFA codes sent via SMS or voice messages.
As a result, given the increasing rate at which businesses are under phishing attacks even with MFA in place, a good solution to handling MFA phishing and other vulnerabilities issues is through the implementation of phishing-resistant MFA to your business and IT solutions.
You will most likely have heard or read about the new MFA system – phishing-resistant MFA. However, what does it mean, what are its benefits, and why does your business need it?
What Is Phishing-Resistant MFA?
Phishing-resistant MFA is an authentication method resistant to distracting authentication processes or malicious attempts commonly brought about by phishing attacks. These attacks include but are not limited to spear phishing, credential stuffing, man-in-the-middle attacks, and brute force attacks.
As a result, passwords, OTPs, links, SMS, push notifications, and security questions are not part of the phishing-resistant MFA mechanisms. This is because these forms of authentication are susceptible to various attacks,
Phishing-resistant MFA broadly relies on cryptographic techniques. These techniques involve the use of WebAuthn (Web Authentication API) specification, an asymmetric pair of public and private keys, biometrics, or the FIDO2 standard. This makes it very difficult for cyber hackers to use various phishing methods to intercept or steal your employee’s identities and access sensitive data.
Benefits of Phishing-resistant MFA
There are many benefits of traditional MFA, but nearly all of them state the ability to prevent phishing. Therefore, going beyond traditional MFA, phishing-resistant MFA includes the following benefits
- For authentication, phishing-resistant MFA does not use weak factors.
- Strong authentication factors include private and public cryptographic keys, FIDO2 standards, and strong user biometrics (touch or facial recognition).
- Removes the risks of using passwords or other shared secrets
- Assures customer identity and ensures adequate single sign-on (SSO) compliance
- Provides a means for businesses to meet their security and regulatory requirements.
- Increases security across accounts and devices.
- Creates a strong bond between the devices being used and the browser session
- Login is only allowed from the device used to authenticate to an app or website
- Ensures private and public key exchange takes place between the device and the registered service provider
Implementing phishing-resistant MFA should be an essential part of your business security strategy. It will serve as a barrier, preventing malicious attackers and phishers from breaching your business and gaining sensitive information.
Why Your Business Needs Phishing-Resistant MFA
As phishing attacks continue to rise, so has the incidence of account takeover, leading to a wide range of consequences for targeted businesses, such as data theft, data leakage, installation of malware, supply chain fraud, ransomware attacks, and more. Attackers also use the account phished to send malicious emails to trusted partners and clients, thereby escalating attacks within the organization. This damages the company’s reputation and leads to a lack of trust.
Although a great form of cyber security protection to an extent, MFA has proven ineffective against sophisticated phishing campaigns, which phish not only the first factor credentials but also the second factor,
Therefore, the rapid increase in phishing attacks, accompanied by various sophisticated strategies, means that phishing-resistant MFA is no more an option but a big necessity. It is the best way to keep you, your business, and your employees safe from phishing threats.
Practices for Staying Protected with Phishing-Resistant MFA
To better protect yourself and your business with phishing-resistant MFA, use the Zero Trust Strategy. This strategy was published by the Office of Management and Budget. According to the strategy draft, two main forms of phishing-resistant MFA are mentioned – PIV Smart Cards and the FIDO2 WebAuthn standard. Both authentication methods are centered on the use of public key cryptography and eliminating shared codes, thereby nullifying an attacker’s ability to phish credentials and ultimately reducing authentication action.
Implementing these phishing-resistant MFA standards is the best practice and most secure way to prevent phishing.
Phishing-Resistant MFA Is the Future of Cyber Security
As phishers and malicious attackers continue to threaten businesses, the need for stronger security measures is important. How protected are employees use to access email, data, and business apps? Phishing-resistant MFA is an essential security strategy needed in your business.
Quantum Technologies can help your Sturgeon Bay area business implement a phishing-resistant MFA security plan to help fight phishing attacks.
Contact us today to learn more! Call 920-256-1214 or reach us online.