What you need to know about MFA

April 28, 2023 | AgFocus-Ag Focus | BusinessFocus-Business Focus

We hope planting has gone well for everyone in the area! This time of year is always exciting as the new crop gets its start. There may be something new that your business is implementing this spring. Security Bank recently added new security features for your online banking products. We would like to explain why these new features have been implemented and how they provide additional protection to our customers.



MFA: What is it?  Why do we need it?

By Brent Hogan, Chief Information Officer

Most people have at least one critical account (banking, medical, or email) that uses MFA.  MFA (or Multi Factor Authentication) is an extra layer of security to protect your account from being accessed with stolen credentials.  This MFA token can come in the form of text or email, and it can also be a device that provides a one-time password.  Many instances of MFA include the use of a soft token which is commonly an app on your phone to produce the one-time password.  


Why is MFA necessary?

According to the Verizon 2022 Data Breach Investigations report, 81% of hacking related data breaches can be attributed to weak or stolen credentials.  There is a massive gap between that and the second most popular reason (vulnerability exploitation – fewer than 20% of incidents). 

Passwords that are stolen in these breaches are commonly sold on the Dark Web and the criminals use automated programs to gain access to your personal data.  The chances of your credentials being stolen are actually very high at any given time. Cybercrime Analytics (C2A) discovered over 721.5 million exposed credentials online. 

The best way to prevent your accounts from being accessed with stolen credentials is to have some type of MFA enabled on all your accounts.  Many sites will give you the option to enable MFA if it is not mandatory.  At Security Bank we use a combination of Multi Factor Authentication methods.  Our business accounts have access to soft tokens that generate a one-time passcode from an app on your phone and hard tokens which are separate devices that produce the one-time passcode.  We also use a system that can detect suspicious activity and if it is detected you will be asked to verify your identity by receiving a one-time passcode sent to your phone via text or phone call. 

The fraud support department at Security Bank has assisted many local businesses and customers that have had their credentials stolen and used to access their accounts.  Please reach out to your lender and find out how we are helping to protect your accounts. 

Top 5 advantages of MFA

1. Increase Security -- MFA tokens are highly secure as they generate a unique password that changes every few seconds.

2. Protection against Phishing attacks -- A hacker cannot obtain your password in a Phishing attack because the password changes or a secondary device is required.

3. Ease of use -- Tokens are easy to set up and require no specialized knowledge.

4. Cost Effective -- MFA tokens are relatively inexpensive, making them an affordable security option for individuals and business alike.

5. No more passwords -- With a random password that changes every few seconds there is a no more reason to try and remember a long and complicated password.