What Is The Need of Multi Factor Authentication In Office 365

admin | February 2nd, 2018 | Cloud Security

Multi factor authentication in Office 365

What is the Need of Multi Factor Authentication in Office 365

Be it the mobile world or cloud technology, both of them tends to be equally challenging than ever. Companies need to make sure that their employees, customers, mobile APIs and partners across the web, who are all in the systems, are constantly monitored. The internal systems or the accessed data from private or public cloud services, in short, all the data from any device or location pertaining to the company’s resources need to be provided with necessary data security measures. With Office 365, many organizations make their first venture into the cloud and it is here that they need to put in more than the routine username and password for authentication purposes. Here comes the Multi Factor Authentication in Office 365 to protect mission-critical apps and company data. So, what does an MFA do? It cleverly adds that another needed level of authentication to an account log in. In MFA, the users will need to meet at least two or three types of the credential check before they can gain access to the required company data. This MFA may include a knowledge component like a PIN or a password; a physical component like iPhone or tab and a biometric component like fingerprint or face/voice recognition. If you think that this extra layer of data security is adding to your customer woes, then here are some examples of lackadaisical attitude results:

  • The collaboration platform, Slack, in March 2015 disclosed that its users’ data was compromised by hackers for four days in February. The compromised data included email addresses, usernames along with the encrypted passwords, Skype IDs and phone numbers that users had associated with their accounts. Although the unauthorized access was blocked and additional infrastructure changes were made, it was the case of a too late act and the damage was already done with regard to the users’ compromised information and the company’s credibility loss among its investors and corporate users.
  • The media streaming service, Plex, also had a similar experience with their forums and blog servers being hacked and data like the email addresses, IP addresses, messages and encrypted passwords stolen. The incident went a step further with hackers blackmailing the company for some 9.5 Bitcoin (valued at over $150,500 now) to have the data released. The hackers threatened to release the data on Torrent networks if their demands were not met. There is still no clarity from the company on whether their demands were met.
  • The security-leading industries were also not left by the hackers. A top 10 US Bank that lacked the two-factor authentication was used by gateway hackers to steal the customer data after they got the log-in credentials of a bank employee. The data security team of the bank failed to upgrade one of its servers with the MFA implementation that left a gap for the intruders to enter inside the cloud data.

Importance of a Implementing Multi Factor Authentication in Office 365

Remember that while moving to Office 365, your sensitive documents like budgets, finance and roadmaps are all exposed and you now trust the cloud for security. The information, which was securely behind the company firewalls like documents, files, spreadsheets, and PowerPoint, have all moved beyond your control to the cloud. Though Microsoft Office 365 offers the two-step authentication feature, it is not enough for organizations with a large volume of customer data and when the data is always on the move to and fro the cloud. Then it becomes imperative that the organizations take the service of the providers who would offer data security tools for IAM solutions. Some of the finer points that the businesses should be aware of when selecting the right MFA solution are as follows:

  • The solution should involve the BYOD concept and the MFA needs to be done via a swipe on their mobile, a one-time password delivered by SMS or voice or by using a hard token.
  • When companies implement strong authentication to legacy and cloud applications it becomes easier for the end users and IT administrators to access the data using a mobile app.
  • Also, the MFA solution should integrate easily with dozens of third-party MFA providers. Thus you can get the much-needed cloud security without the additional expense of replacement software or custom development.

With Multi Factor Authentication in Office 365, you, of course, add another level of data security. And with the third-party MFA solution providers, you secure all of the apps including Microsoft and other Software as a Service (SaaS) applications.