Cisco AnyConnect VPN: Is It Worth Using Multi Factor Authentication?

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is an access control system that requires two or more methods of authentication from 2 or more different categories that verify a user’s identity to log in. It is a major component to having secure network access. 

The Colonial Pipeline cyber breach was a result of the lack of multi-factor authentication and the criminal hacking group responsible for the breach demanded a ransom of close to $5 million in exchange for their files. Because Colonial Pipeline did not have MFA in place, and relied on only a username and password, they made an easy target. Relying on just one form of authentication can lead companies to be vulnerable, which is not ideal when living in a time where ransomware attacks are becoming more frequent and sophisticated. 

No system is one hundred percent safe from attempted attacks, but adding Cisco Anyconnect multi-Factor authentication can be a major line of defense against cyber attackers. 

What are the Benefits of Multi-Factor Authentication?

Multi-factor authentication increases security with third parties

If you’re a large corporation such as Colonial Pipeline, then third parties are likely accessing your systems for a variety of reasons. Depending on the size of your company and your systems, the amount of individuals coming in and out of your system on a daily basis could be hundreds, if not thousands, which is very difficult to keep track of. By adding another form of authentication, you’re creating an extra layer of defense. 

MFA better controls who has access to your files

Instead of using only passwords, which can be duplicated or re-used, multi-factor authentication helps an organization define who and who doesn’t have access to any sensitive or confidential information. Many companies are not assessing the security practices of third parties before granting them access while other companies haven’t even identified the third parties that can be granted access. By using two or more factors, it limits access, and can ensure that whoever is able to access data, is only the individual listed as having access. 

(H3) Multi-factor authentication offers a variety of choices to meet your security needs

Multi-factor authentication is made up of three common credentials: something you know, something you have, something you are. Two or more of these credentials need to be deployed for multi-factor authentication. You can customize which credentials you want your users to use so it meets the security needs of your company. Simple solutions like adaptive MFA, single sign-on, or push notifications are easy add ons to MFA. 

MFA helps meet regulatory requirements

HIPAA compliance requires authorized access personnel only. Implementing measures that prevent unauthorized access, like mfa, accomplish the requirements that are required by HIPAA. Governments also have security requirements that they need to meet and implementing MFA helps them get there. This security protocol helps protect an organization while meeting external requirements. 

Multi-factor authentication takes away password risks

Passwords have been cracked or guessed for as long as they’ve been around. Many users tend to duplicate passwords for multiple accounts, so if a hacker gets ahold of just one account password, they’ll have access to every account that uses the same passwords. A good practice is to require your users to have unique, complex passwords. An even better practice is adding MFA on top of a complex password. 

Multi-factor authentication secures company data and systems by adding obstacles that keep cyber attackers out. Even if hackers have access to a password or another method of authentication, it’s rare for them to have that other authentication. Normally hackers do not have access to multiple factors of authentication. 

The extensive customization of multi-factor authentication options means that it is the perfect option to use in order to protect your company’s private data and speed up their digital transformation. 

Will Fastiggi
Will Fastiggi

Originally from England, Will is an Upper Primary Coordinator now living in Brazil. He is passionate about making the most of technology to enrich the education of students.

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