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KIU Cyber Watch: Guard Your Data Using Multi-factor Authentication


By Rogers Wanambwa

KIU, Main Campus - Thanks to the pandemic,  the world as we know it has changed. We don't know if it's going to stay this way or things, at some point, will return to normal. One thing is clear, however, the migration to the digital is here to stay. Businesses everywhere have shifted their operations to online platforms and learning institutions, including KIU are conducting classes online. Many have called this, the "new normal."

With the "new normal," an emerging threat grows more prominent - cyber crime. According to a report from the Africa Cyber Immersion Center, Uganda lost UGX 42 million to cyber crime. In Kenya, from April to June 2019, the country experienced 26 million cyber threats.

Perhaps more than ever, it's time to get vigilant. According to Aaron Mauro, an assistant professor of digital media from Brock University, "attackers have real opportunities to take advantage of our changes in our habits as we transition to working remotely."

The good news is that there are multiple practices that can help you protect yourself from cyber crime. One of them is multi-factor authentication.

Multi-factor authentication is an authentication method in which a computer (including smartphones, PCs and other electronic devices) user is granted access only after successfully presenting two or more pieces of evidence to an authentication mechanism: knowledge, possession, and inherence. It is divided into subsets which include two-factor authentication and three-factor authentication. 

This type of authentication is growing to be very necessary as the world becomes more and more digitally enhanced especially with all the emerging technology. Due to this, new security threats like sophisticated hacking apps and other types of threats are cropping up. 

Given the fact that the KIU community is mostly a youthful one, it is expected to be more tech savvy and hence more susceptible to digital threats. As the world moves into the age of the IoT(Internet of Things), literally everything is expected to be linked digitally. To hackers, this means a field day

So how does multi-factor authentication come in? 

Although many do not notice, many companies have taken this up. For example, when you want to withdraw money on your mobile money account, you have initiate the command on your phone, which is the first factor. As the mobile money operator accepts your initiation, you have to then input your PIN to accept the transaction. That's a two-factor authentication used by telecom companies to safeguard their users. 

Three-factor authentication is what is used in the banking world normally where a User ID is needed first of all, a code sent to phone(SMS) or email and then a PIN. This helps you to access your money wherever you are without visiting your bank. 

The KIU community should take up such measures in order to protect their data because the world is surely moving towards a more internet based life. 

For more information on how to set up your own multi factor authentication on your devices, click here