How Multi-Factor Authentication Protects Against Cyber Threats

By: | Category: ERP

Passwords are a common form of confirming a user’s identity in the computing industry. Passwords have been around for decades.  The problem with using passwords for authentication is that they can be cracked. Anyone who knows your password can gain access to your systems (with all of your permissions) if there are no other safeguards in place.

Reduce Vulnerability with Multi-Factor Authentication

In addition to your passwords, Multi-Factor Authentication adds another layer of defense. It requires that a user provides multiple credentials (factors) to validate his or her identity before gaining access to a network or system. Typically, the credentials used to validate identity include:

  • Password
  • Code sent to another device (like a text message sent to your phone)
  • Biometric data (such as a fingerprint)


Martha signs on to her computer using her password and is instantly prompted by her cell phone to approve the log-in attempt.

To log on to his computer, David scans his fingerprint and is then asked to enter a time-sensitive code received via an app on his phone.

While MFA does need users to take an extra step or two when logging in, these procedures are straightforward and the disruption is usually minor.

What Should Be Protected With MFA?

Remote network and email access, as well as administrative access, should all be protected using MFA. This stops system hackers from penetrating networks and deploying ransomware, erasing valuable data, or stealing sensitive information for malevolent purposes using phishing or keylogging, for example.

MFA Protects Against:

  • Phishing/Spear Phishing Attacks
  • Keyloggers
  • Credential Stuffing
  • Brute Force Attacks
  • Reverse Brute Force Attacks
  • Man-in-the-Middle (MITM) Attacks

Why MFA is a requirement to Qualify for Cyber Insurance?

Multi-factor authentication is extremely effective. According to Microsoft, “By providing an extra barrier and layer of security that makes it incredibly difficult for attackers to get past, MFA can block over 99.9 percent of account compromise attacks. With MFA, knowing or cracking the password won’t be enough to gain access.”

Networks without MFA protections are exposed to much higher levels of risk than networks with MFA protections in place, according to insurance carriers. Because cyberattacks are becoming more common, cyber insurers are now requiring applicants to show that companies have taken precautions to prevent them. Most cyber insurance companies have made MFA a requirement for obtaining and renewing coverage.

Implementing MFA with Sage X3

Sage X3 can support Multi-Factor Authentication via Saml2 and Oauth2 authentication methods. You can use these to connect to AzureAD (for example, Office 365), Google, Okta, and other authentication security providers. Integrating with these identity management solutions is a huge advantage—allowing you to use their services to grant access to Sage X3 ERP.

Consider upgrading to a more secure authentication mechanism if your firm is still utilizing basic authentication to provide end-users access to your ERP system.

For more information about OAuth2 or Saml2 authentication, visit the Sage X3 Online Help Center.

For more information about implementing MFA with Sage X3, please contact us.