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Government renews push for multi-factor authentication

The federal government has called on the broader Australian community to adopt multi-factor authentication measures to help ward off cyber attacks.

The federal government has called on the broader Australian community to adopt multi-factor authentication measures to help ward off cyber attacks.

Australians have been urged to bolster proof of identity protections by implementing multi-factor authentication (MFA) measures across devices, online accounts or programs.

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According to Assistant Minister for Defence Andrew Hastie, MFA — a cyber security measure that requires two or more pieces of evidence to prove a person’s identity — is an effective way to set up safeguards to ward off attacks from cyber criminals.

“Where possible, we are encouraging people to use multi-factor authentication on your online programs and devices for greater protections against cyber crime and cyber criminals,” Assistant Minister Hastie said.

“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 cyber crime.”

The renewed push follows roundtable discussions between Hastie and senior executives from Australia’s banking sector.

“We discussed the Australian Cyber Security Centre’s new multi-factor authentication campaign, which is providing rolling advice on common cyber security threats for organisations, businesses and individuals,” Assistant Minister Hastie added.

“We also discussed ways that industry can work with government to ensure more Australians have access to the best possible cyber security advice.”

Head of the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), Abigail Bradshaw CSC, noted that the ACSC has published step-by-step guides to help Australians adopt MFA measures on a range of social media, email and message applications and devices.

“As part of the Australian government’s ongoing cyber security 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,” Bradshaw said.

“Online security starts with your own device and accounts. Use multi-factor authentication for your important accounts, replace passwords with passphrases, and use different passphrases for different accounts.”

This latest call came just days after the federal government released a cyber security guide for SMEs across the defence industry.

The guide is designed to ensure businesses implement appropriate safeguards before engaging in defence projects.

Government renews push for multi-factor authentication
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