Multi-factor authentication for stronger cyber protection

Department of Defence

Australians are being urged to strengthen proof of identity protections to help stop cybercriminals gaining unauthorised access to online information and accounts.

Assistant Minister for Defence, the Hon Andrew Hastie MP, warned that cybercriminals are always looking for new ways to steal money and personal data from Australians, and multi-factor authentication is an effective way to protect against these cyber threats.

Multi-factor authentication, or MFA, is a cyber security 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.

“Where possible, we are encouraging people to use multi-factor authentication on your online programs and devices for greater protections against cybercrime and cybercriminals,” 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 cybercrime.”

“Today I held a roundtable discussion with senior executives from Australia’s banking sector who outlined the importance of multi-factor authentication in protecting their customers.”

“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.”

“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), Ms Abigail Bradshaw CSC, said the ACSC has published step-by-step guides to help Australians set up MFA 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,” Ms 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.”

For tips on how to strengthen your cyber defences, visit: cyber.gov.au.

Cybercrime can be reported through ReportCyber which is managed by the ACSC on behalf of law enforcement agencies, providing a single online portal for individuals and businesses to report cyber incidents.

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