Why 2FA and SSO should be in your 2021 security strategy


Why 2FA and SSO should be in your 2021 security strategy

Working from home: there is no escaping it anymore. The number of daily users on ‘Teams’ was 3 million in November 2020. And that number will only increase this year. Two thirds of managers expect that staff will continue to work from home for at least two days at the minimum. The shift from the office to the home office has resulted in IT-related challenges. In this blog, you can read the tips and tricks of Remco de Kramer from Microsoft, one of the speakers from our online event last month.

The unexpected IT-challenges when working from home

Anyone who has started working from home since last year has had to be creative about creating a home office. It is clear that it goes further than just a well-adjusted office chair alone. It is important to look at the next step: the security of our IT environment, so that we are also in line with the security policy within the organization. But where to start?

As we examine this issue, several questions will arise:

  • Do employees also have secure access to the various systems from home?
  • How is the network configured? Is it secure enough to also be able to exchange sensitive information?
  • How can we establish the identity of each employee so that access is granted only to those who should have access
  • How can IT administrators remotely monitor security processes?


Not only do these questions provide insights into whether we are on the right track, but they also show us where any security weaknesses lie. And it is good to map that out, because weaknesses in our systems mean opportunities for cyber criminals.

 

Two-factor authentication & Single sign-on: the safest options for remote working

In this blog from last week you could see the three steps that are important in setting up an external workspace. Remote access to apps, managing devices and apps and protecting corporate resources are central to this. It is not only important that attention is drawn to this, but also how this can be easily implemented. This can be rolled out in three phases, so that it does not generate additional work for the IT department afterwards.

It's time to take a closer look at this. Because working from home securely requires access to the various systems and apps without compromising on security. The last thing you want is for unauthorized persons to gain access to the secure environment of your organization. How do you do this effectively? By using multi-factor authentication (or MFA / 2FA) and Single Sign-on (SSO), where the risk of access to third parties can be easily limited.


Multi-factor authentication

Logging in with just a username and password is outdated. We need to look at stronger security. A simple and secure way to protect our employees. With multi-factor authentication you prevent unauthorized persons from gaining access to your secure environment. You add an extra layer of security, which means that you need an extra means in addition to your e-mail and password, which makes it difficult for cyber criminals to gain access.

One of the solutions is Microsoft Authenticator. Here you are asked to authenticate the user via a mobile app, using biometric data such as facial recognition and TouchID. This extra layer of security is unique to the user, giving you 99.9% protection against identity attacks. In short, this is how it works: 

MFA-Azure

 

Single Sign-on

Your employees want to be able to use all apps easily. Easy logging is important here. Because the more hassle there is around a login process, the more opportunities we give cyber criminals to gain access to our data.

Look at it like this: every time we try to enter a secure environment, digital dangers are lurking. If the entry goes wrong, there is a good chance that we will take these threats with us. This is also the case with logging in. The more often we log in, the more chance that something can go wrong. With Single Sign-on you prevent this. By establishing the identity of your employees, granting access can be made easy. You log in once, after which your credentials are remembered. After this, you can easily use your apps without having to log in every time.

Your benefits:

  • The productivity of your employees is increased, because there is no need to switch between the different systems;
  • Security is increased because now only one password must be remembered. Users can more easily remember one good and strong password for multiple applications than different passwords that are often not strong enough;
  • It reduces “password fatigue”: a study has shown that people tend to leave a website or app if there are login problems or if the password has been forgotten.
  • By making it easy for users, we lighten the workload for the IT department. There will be fewer requests for the "forgot password" button. This means less time is spent processing and solving this situation.

If we make it easy for our employees, this ensures a strong defense within the organization. If they can work remotely, securely from within apps and systems, this is one less worry for your IT department.

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