Cybersecurity attacks are on the rise and show no signs of slowing. Luckily, most attacks can be prevented by implementing multi-factor authentication. At IP Pathways, we use Cisco DUO for our multi-factor authentication method.

While username and password login credentials have been used for decades to secure systems, they are also the easiest to bypass for an attacker who may have those credentials. Cisco DUO provides an additional layer of security, on top of user credentials, to prevent attackers from gaining access to systems.

User credentials can be compromised by the use of phishing campaigns directed at your users, or through the breach of a partner business system when your users have accounts in their system.

So how does Cisco DUO prevent an attacker from gaining access if they know a users login credentials? The normal method of logging in to a business system, like email or VPN for example, is for the system to prompt the user for the username and password associated with the account. If the username and password match, then the user is granted access to the system. With Cisco DUO, the user credentials are still input and validated as before, but an additional security check is added which will require the user to respond to a push notification to their mobile device, or by inputting a 6-digit code provided from a text, call, or hardware token device. Since an attacker likely does not have physical access to a users mobile device or hardware token, the additional security layer of multi-factor authentication with Cisco DUO will prevent an attacker from gaining access.

One major benefit of using Cisco DUO for multi-factor authentication is that it provides users with a single interface for multi-factor authentication for all of your business systems. This focus on user experience will result in fewer calls to help desk due to users who cannot keep track of which authenticator application they need to use for each business system.

Organizations of all sizes should be using multi-factor authentication to secure business systems, for users at all levels. Most attacks are not targeted against a high ranking member of an organization, they are simply looking for the easiest way into a business system so that they can then begin probing for additional security vulnerabilities once they have gained access.

While not replacing the need for cybersecurity education for your users, implementing multi-factor authentication with Cisco DUO is the easiest method to prevent the most common attack on an organization’s systems.


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