What is Multi-Factor Authentication?

March 4th, 2022 by Van Ausdall & Farrar

You wouldn’t buy a safe without a lock would you? As technology becomes more and more integrated with our daily lives the need to keep our personal information protected. Scammers are frequently trying to gain access to personal and professional accounts. Long past are the days where making the password logins for all the same was the right move.

With valuable information, credit cards on file, and personal media filling our electronic devices more than ever, it is time to take the next step in protection with multi-factor authentication.

How Does Multi-Factor Authentication Work?

According to the Computer Security Resource center, multi-factor authentication can be defined as “An authentication system that requires more than one distinct authentication factor for successful authentication.” With the primary goal being to create multiple levels of defense for your electronics that make it more difficult to reach your sensitive information.

  • Your Physical Location
  • Computer Information
  • Your Secure Network

While utilizing multi factor authentication (MFA) you can be assured that you have taken the appropriate steps to help keep your personal and private information secure.

Kinds of Authentication Methods

For MFA to be effective, the user’s credentials need to come from more than one category. These credentials you use are generally based off three authentication factors:

  • Know: Something like a password or a pin.
  • Have: A physical token like a key fob or your mobile device.
  • Are: This would be voice recognition, fingerprint, etc.

Multi factor authentication uses two or more factors to verify user authentication.


The knowledge factor is the most common of the authentication factors. This could be either a pin or passphrase that only you would know. It’s good practice to not use the same password for every login.


The possession factor authentication is helpful because it is much less likely a hacker would be able to steal something physical off your person. Some of the best methods include key fobs, a security token, pop up app on your phone, or the sending of security keys as an authentication method.


The third of the multiple authentication factors is used for identity verification, which is confirmed based on traits that are physically only available to you. Facial recognition, retinal scan, voice recognition, are all examples of the inheritance authentication methods. This method of two factor authentication makes it very difficult for a scammer trying to gain access to an account because they would need the same physical traits as you.

Is Multi-Factor Authentication Important?

If you think that it’s incredibly unlikely that you would be hacked, think again. Cyber crimes have been on the raise, with the total money stolen in cyber attacks in 2020 reaching almost 1 trillion dollars. Your life can be turned upside down when your identity, bank account, or personal sensitive data is stolen. While you may find two factor authentication methods to be annoying when logging into your accounts, the pros of these online services outweigh the cons.

If you receive an authentication request from unauthorized users requesting access, it’s important not to acknowledge this request. You could have a stolen password for one of your accounts. The second factor in the process often stops many scammers from continuing further. Look into an authentication app for extra protection for your online accounts.

Hackers are getting more sophisticated and crafty with their methods as technology advances. Phishing attacks are becoming very common these days, and it’s important to review your emails carefully. Upgrading your corporate network security to include multi factor authentication adds another layer of protection between your personal information and private business information is invaluable. As well as it is not something that should be trusted to just anyone.

Contact VAF to Secure Your Business Applications and Data

When it comes to business data, personal identities, and financial records, it is important to keep this data as secure as possible with the right cyber security protocols in place. Multi factor authentication is an incredibly powerful tool in preventing scammers and identity thieves from gaining access to this sensitive data. That’s why Van Ausdall & Farrar has become the state’s largest full-service business technology provider for a variety of industries such as healthcare, insurance, engineering, construction, manufacturing, logistics, government, and real estate companies in Indiana and throughout the Midwest.

For the last 100 years we have been putting our customers wants and needs above our own and are proud to do it. If you are ready to take your security to the next level with multi-factor identification tools from the industry leader, take our technology strength assessment to find out where your network security is lacking and how implementing multi factor authentication on your business applications can protect your data. Contact Van Ausdall and Farrar today.

Posted in: Insights from VAF Blog, Cybersecurity