With the launch of AuthPoint from WatchGuard, the company is looking to dispel the myth many small and medium-sized businesses believed about multi-factor authentication technology.
According to WatchGuard, the new AuthPoint  solution was designed for small and medium sized businesses by eliminating many of the complexities, management issues and cost associated with multi-factor authentication. With 61% of small businesses indicating they believe a multi-factor authentication solution is reserved for large enterprises, the new service should be welcomed news.
The survey  was conducted by CITE Research on behalf of WatchGuard with the participation of small business owners and IT managers in the US, the UK and Australia.
The Sobering Survey Results
The survey points out 81% of data breaches are the result of a weak or stolen password . And a further analysis reveals poor password practices are commonplace.
Close to half or 47% of the respondent believe employees use simple or weak passwords, and if that wasn’t bad enough 40% believe their employees click on phishing emails .
When it comes to WiFi, 36% said employees use an unsecured network. When you add the 31% of employees business owners believe reuse business passwords for personal applications, it makes for a bad combination.
The data gets worse as 30% said they believe employees share passwords while another 18% said they don’t have any questionable security behaviors.
You can look at the rest of the revealing data from the survey here .
Lost credentials prove to be one of the most effective ways for hackers to breach a system. Alex Cagnoni, director of Authentication at WatchGuard, explained how criminals use different techniques to obtain this information.
In an official release, Cagnoni adds , “In the absence of MFA, cybercriminals can utilize a variety of techniques to acquire usernames and passwords, such as spear phishing, social engineering, and buying stolen credentials on the dark web, to gain network access and then steal valuable company and customer data.”
He say AuthPoint is going to break the barriers small and medium sized businesses have been facing with multi-factor authentication solutions. Cagnoni says the cloud-based platform makes these easy to deploy, scalable and most importantly inexpensive enough so small business owners can now afford to protect their digital assets just like a large enterprise.
Key Features of AuthPoint
When the AuthPoint app is activated on a smartphone, users can view and manage login attempts with push notifications and one-time passwords. If the person doesn’t temporarily have access to the internet, QR code entries can be used.
The authentication process extends to third-party tools from Google Authenticator, Facebook, Dropbox, and others.
With more people using their mobile devices to access company resources, AuthPoint has a Mobile Device DNA tool which differentiates login attempts from legitimate and cloned devices. If the attempt comes from users which are not genuine, it will reject those devices.
The Effectiveness of Passwords
When properly implemented and maintained, passwords are effective. However, there is a disconnect between employees, contractors, and decision makers in applying and executing the necessary protocols for password maintenance.
By simplifying the multi-factor authentication process, WatchGuard and its new tool AuthPoint will give small businesses a better way to manage their passwords.