Improving Your Security Posture with Multi-Factor Authentication

Insights June 13, 2023

It should come as no surprise that cyber attacks are on the rise, but it might be a shock that the volume of password attacks has risen to an estimated 921 attacks every second – a 74% increase in just one year, according to the latest Microsoft Digital Defense Report 2022. At RSA 2023, the SANS Institute detailed the Five Most Dangerous New Attacks noting that cyberattacks are increasingly targeting software and application developers due to their privileges and access to systems. 

If you haven’t enabled Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), use poor password management practices, or you are using out-of-date software, stolen administrator credentials can be used to delete logs, expire backup data, exfiltrate data and implant malware. That is a disaster that could have been prevented. 


Risks Associated with Not Enabling MFA

I have heard plenty of excuses for why an organization might opt out of enabling Multi-Factor Authentication or general hesitation to adopt MFA. However, I want to debunk some of these concerns.

As noted earlier, cyberattacks now target those with access to critical information, so it would seem logical that organizations should use MFA, ideally phishing-resistant MFA, to protect all users. Some misguided people believe that MFA interferes with employees' productivity and employees won't tolerate the additional steps needed to access your organization's data. In truth, employees are aware for the need and use it every day to access their own bank accounts or other consumer resources. In any case, the threat that a malicious attacker could easily move laterally inside of your enterprise network has such severe consequences, there is no excuse for not updating your strategy.

Setting up an access management strategy, with MFA, ideally phishing-resistant MFA, provides peace of mind knowing that only approved personal are accessing your company’s data and applications without causing too much inconvenience to employees.

Employees routinely fall for phishing scams and share passwords, and if you're not using Multi-Factor Authentication, your organization is wide open to attacks.


Enable Multi-Factor Authentication

Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) is a system using at least a second source of added verification to gain access to a resource. We use it today for many things, like logging into a bank account or VPN access. Enabling multi-factor authentication allows you to align with your existing Identity and Access Management (AIM) policies and prevent unauthorized access.

How to enable MFA with your single sign-on:

  • Veritas NetBackup Flex Appliance—

            o   Managing Single Sign-on

            o   Managing User Authentication with Smart Cards or Digital Certificates

  • Veritas NetBackup—

            o   Enable MFA using any SAML2.0 compliant Identity Provider

            o   Smart card or digital certificate

            o   Use non-privileged accounts for services

In addition to multi-factor authentication, NetBackup also provides role-based access control (RBAC) to provide limited access and permissions, based on a user’s role in your organization. For example, a MySQL administrator would be given all the permissions that are necessary to manage MySQL instances and databases and to back up those assets with protection plans but would not have access to any other protected data bases or backups in your environment.

Enabling Multi-Factor Authentication is an important step in your cybersecurity strategy. If you are currently a Veritas customer, be sure you have enabled MFA with these resources, and check out our other tips for cybersecurity: The Seven-Step Checklist to Secure Backup Data (

Tim Burlowski
Senior Director of Product Management Cyber Resiliency