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Phishing Attacks: is Multi-Factor Authentication Enough to Protect You?

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We’re starting to see bigger and more sophisticated cyber-attacks. If you want to keep your organization safe, you’ll need to be aware of the latest cyber threats.

One mistake many companies make is thinking multi-factor authentication makes them immune. In reality, things are much less straightforward.

So what do you need to do to safeguard your company from modern phishing attacks? This article tells you what you need to know.

What Is Phishing?

A phishing attack is when an attacker pretends to be a trusted entity and tricks the victim into opening a link. When the victim opens the link, it might fool the user into revealing their password.

The link may also install malware on the victim’s computer. An example of a phishing attack would be a faked “reset your password” email.

What Is Multi-Factor Authentication?

Multi-factor authentication is when a system requires two pieces of evidence to log in. So, not only do you enter your password, but you also prove your identity in another way.

For example, the system might send a message to your cell phone, or you might scan your face or fingerprints using an app. This can protect you against phishing attacks. Even if attackers manage to phish your password, they still can’t breach the system.

Can Two-Factor Authentication Protect Against Phishing?

Companies often make one mistake. They think that having two-factor authentication makes them immune to phishing. The reality is that even with a robust authentication system, you’re still in danger. For example, if a phishing link tricks you into installing malware onto your system, authentication isn’t going to help.

Authentication systems are also vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks. This is when an attacker has access to your system through something like a browser extension. Also, cybercriminals now sell premade phishing kits bypassing multi-factor authentication.

You can’t afford to get complacent just because you have multi-factor authentication. Using high-quality antivirus software could help to protect against these kinds of attacks.

Social Engineering

While phishing protection using software and authentication is essential, these won’t protect you against social engineering attacks. Social engineering involves using psychological tricks. For example, they may bait users into giving up their credentials.

Apps can’t protect against this as the user willingly gives the criminal access. The only way to guard against social engineering is to have a strong security culture.

Protect Your Company!

As you can see, there’s more to phishing protection than simply using an authentication app. There are phishing kits out there that enable attackers to make man-in-the-middle attacks. They could also access your systems through clever social engineering tricks.

While multi-factor authentication certainly needs to be in your security toolkit, you should also augment. For example, with things like antivirus software and strong security culture.

If you want to learn more about other security-related topics, check out the rest of our blog posts.


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