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How to Enhance Your Network Security with Cisco MFA

The number of cybercrimes is growing every year. With work from home positions becoming more common since the pandemic, it’s not a secret that cyber criminals are also on the rise. Only about half of businesses use some sort of two-factor authentication such as Cisco multi-factor authentication.

It’s important that along with your 2FA solution in place, you enhance your network security, to ensure you’re maximizing your security levels. The concept of two-factor authentication isn’t new and was developed in 1984. But in today’s modern world, it’s more important than ever in both personal and business as we move to a more digital society with greater threats of hacking, theft, and loss of access. 

Network Security

To further understand how we can benefit from using a Cisco Anyconnect VPN with two factor authentication, we need to understand what 2FA is and how it helps.

One of the best practices you could do to enhance your protection for Cisco Anyconnect from getting hacked and guarantee maximum security is to add multi-factor authentication. Think of MFA as your double insurance when it comes to your company accounts. 

Multi-factor authentication is a secure authentication method that, instead of just requiring a username and password, also requires and additional verification usually following into three categories: something you know – like a PIN or password; something you have – like a phone or hardware token; something you are – like a fingerprint or facial recognition.

Here’s how to enhance your network security with Cisco MFA.

Enhanced Security Beyond Passwords

As we know, passwords alone are not enough to secure your account. Users have a bad habit of choosing passwords that are easy to guess and used across multiple platforms. Studies show that a more complex password with random numbers and symbols proves to be the better option and when paired with a 2FA program, security is greatly enhanced. 

Choosing the Right 2FA

Two factor authentication means that the user has to input two types of identification in order to authenticate. Typically this consists of something you know, something you are, and something you have. This allows for a wide range of techniques and technologies to be used that are superior to a password. 

Depending on your company’s system and devices that are used, the authentication method used will vary. Companies have multiple options of choosing an authentication method including SMS and push notification, adding a biometric key such as fingerprint or facial recognition, or using a code-generating key such as a hardware token or security key. The rule of thumb is, you should employ the authentication combination that best suits your company’s cost-structure and users.

Boost Productivity 

When you have a two factor authentication that fits your company’s needs, you can actually increase your productivity. The right 2FA solution offers a competitive advantage and increases user satisfaction. One of the best practices that helps with productivity and user satisfaction is the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). This increases productivity by letting users safely use their personal devices while at work. Mobile 2FA enables employees to securely access documents and data from any location without putting the corporate network and sensitive information in danger. 

Reduce Help Desk Costs

The most common reason behind support calls to the help desk is password reset. When you replace passwords with a non-password-dependent 2FA approach, you can reduce the pressure on helpdesk staff and reduce costs for your organization. 

Companies have tried to enhance the security of user authentication by requiring lengthy passwords with special character requirements, frequent changing of passwords, sophisticated algorithms that conceal the actual password and much more. A password-only system is still vulnerable to cyberattacks as users tend to use the same password across multiple systems. Phishing attacks and social engineering techniques are commonly used to get users to unknowingly reveal their passwords. Two-factor authentication gives the user and system administrator a peace of mind as it ensures that even if a password is compromised, the account cannot be accessed without also knowing the method of authentication used as the second factor. 

As a company trying to implement 2FA into their organization, you’ll want to make sure that all of your systems are up to date and can handle the two-factor authentication process. This doesn’t mean you need to update every device to the newer version. You can simply just update your program to the latest version that way you’re not missing out on all of the benefits of two-factor authentication. 

To ensure that you’re really protecting your company from cyber attacks, you want to make sure that you have a 2FA system that works for your company. You want to use a solution that adapts to your existing infrastructure and doesn’t force you to completely swap out your devices. You also want a solution that is easy to implement, and offers a seamless user experience from start to finish.