Authentication is the process of verifying the identity or other attributes of an entity (user, process, or device). Entering in log in credentials to gain access to a website is an example of authentication, whereas using a fingerprint to gain access to a building or cell phone is another example of authentication; otherwise known as biometric authentication.

What Does This Mean For My SMB?

SMBs are most certainly are at risk to everyday hackers. Hackers breach Small to Medium Sized businesses 15x more often than larger firms. Hackers know this and target you because of it. SMB’s generally lack resources to properly secure systems, fail to train employees on cybersecurity hygiene, and sometimes lack proper security tools.

For these reasons, CyberHoot recommends all SMB’s take these actions to ensure authentication is taking place:

Train employees on how to spot and delete phishing emails. Here’s a free video to help with this: How to Protect Yourself from Phishing Attacks.

  • Train employees on how to use strong passphrases instead of passwords.
  • Test employees with Phishing tests. CyberHoot includes this in our services.
  • Implement basic cybersecurity technical best practices including:
  • Update/patch all devices and software whenever possible to ensure vulnerabilities are fixed.
  • Establish risk management at your SMB by having a risk assessment performed at least once on your business.

Taking these proactive measures can reduce your risk of a costly breach, downtime, brand damage, and a cyber insurance claim (or all four).

Related Term: Authenticate, Biometric Authentication

Training Video: Two-Factor AuthenticationAuthenticityIdentity and Access Management, Password

Source: CNSSI 4009, NIST SP 800-21, NISTIR 7298

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