Using multi-factor authentication to boost cybersecurity

Wednesday, 03 March, 2021

Using multi-factor authentication to boost cybersecurity

Australians have been urged to strengthen proof-of-identity protections to prevent cybercriminals gaining unauthorised access to online information and accounts. Assistant Minister for Defence Andrew Hastie said that multi-factor authentication (MFA) is an effective way of preventing cybercriminals from stealing money and personal data from Australians.

MFA is a cybersecurity measure that requires two or more pieces of evidence to prove a person’s identity to gain access to a device, online account or program. Hastie encouraged people to use multi-factor authentication on their online programs and devices, for greater protections against cybercrime and cybercriminals.

“Using multi-factor authentication makes it much harder for cybercriminals to gain access to your online data or personal information. Things that appear to be small or straightforward steps — like multi-factor authentication — can actually make a big difference to increasing Australia’s defences against cybercrime,” said Hastie.

Hastie recently held a roundtable discussion with senior executives from Australia’s banking sector, who outlined the importance of MFA in protecting their customers.

Attendees discussed the Australian Cyber Security Centre’s (ACSC) new multi-factor authentication campaign, which provides advice on common cybersecurity threats for organisations, businesses and individuals. The roundtable discussion also addressed ways that industry can work with government to ensure more Australians have access to cybersecurity advice.

The Head of the ACSC, Abigail Bradshaw CSC, said the Centre has published step-by-step guides to help Australians set up MFA on social media, email and message applications, and devices. Bradshaw urged Australians to use MFA for their important accounts, replace passwords with passphrases and use different passphrases for different accounts.

“As part of the Australian Government’s ongoing cybersecurity campaign, our easy-to-follow guides with screenshots are designed to help Australians protect themselves against cybercrime by setting up multi-factor authentication and making life much harder for the criminals,” said Bradshaw.

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