Keyavi Data issued a set of best practices for keeping personal and business data out of criminal hands using multi-factor authentication (MFA).
These best practices explain why MFA remains one of the best defenses for mitigating password risk and preventing cyber criminals from exploiting user credentials.
“Poor password hygiene habits are still very commonplace, and compromised credentials are one of the top causes of data breaches, costing companies millions of dollars annually,” said T.J. Minichillo, Keyavi’s CISO and VP of cyber threat & intelligence.
More than a third of Americans admit to sharing their password with others, while a majority use the same login for more than one account, according to Security.org. Both practices can seriously compromise online security.
“Today’s cybercriminals have tools to crack even complex passwords in seconds, which is why MFA is an increasingly important means for validating user identities,” Minichillo added. “Used correctly, it can provide an additional layer of security to prevent opportunistic threat actors from compromising credentials, even if those credentials are exposed during phishing campaigns, brute force attacks, keyloggers, credential stealing malware incidents or many other types of sophisticated cyber intrusions.”
The cybersecurity landscape is evolving
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, and an unprecedented number of people continue working remotely, it is vital that companies reduce their cyber attack surface across every endpoint, including data stored in the cloud.
Phishing attacks increased 11% last year, according to Verizon’s 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report, which increases the likelihood of a user’s credentials being compromised and exploited by threat actors. The latest IBM-Ponemon Institute study also found that data breach costs hit a 17-year high, costing companies an average of $4.24 million per incident. Another report from The Identity Theft Resource Center states that the number of security compromises increased more than 68% in 2021, setting a new record.
As the cybersecurity landscape evolves, threat actors are also developing increasingly sophisticated social engineering schemes to circumvent security protocols, tools and services — making it even more difficult for the average user to identify and defend against cyber threats.
Protecting data not only improves security, it also pays off financially, a recent Cisco study found. Organizations investing in data privacy gain benefits such as greater agility, increased competitive advantage and greater customer trust that far outweigh the cost of their investment.