Close this search box.

The Importance of Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)


What is Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)?

MFA is an authentication method that requires two or more proofs of identity to grant access to a resource such as an application, or online account. Rather than just entering a username and password, users are required to enter one or more additional verification factors. This decreases the likelihood of a successful cyber-attack.

What does MFA look like?

Multi-factor authentication methodologies can be broken up into 3 main types of additional information:

  • Something you know – such as a password, passphrase or PIN.
  • Something you have – such as a card or one time password (OTP) sent via text or email.
  • Something you are – such as a biometric (finger print or voice recognition).

An Example

Take an ATM transaction as an everyday example of multi-factor authentication. When you want withdraw money from your account, you use your debit card (something you have) as one authentication factor. Once you have accessed your account however, you also need to enter your PIN that is associated with that card. Your PIN (something you know) is the second factor of authentication.

Why is it important?

MFA offers significantly increased security and protection from criminals.

The prior example highlights the security factor of MFA. If your debit card is lost or stolen, your PIN provides an added layer of security before your account can be accessed or money can be withdrawn.

The difference between MFA and Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

Many people often use MFA interchangeably with 2FA. Whilst following the same principle, they differ in the number of factors needed for authentication. Like the name suggests, 2FA only requires two factors, whilst MFA can be two or more factors of authentication.


Ahmed Khanji

Ahmed Khanji

Ahmed Khanji is the CEO of Gridware, a leading cybersecurity consultancy based in Sydney, Australia. An emerging thought leader in cybersecurity, Ahmed is an Adjunct Professor at Western Sydney University and regularly contributes to cybersecurity conversations in Australia. As well as his extensive background as a security advisor to large Australian Enterprises, he is a regular keynote speaker and guest lecturer on offensive cybersecurity topics and blockchain.


Sydney Offices
Level 12, Suite 6
189 Kent Street
Sydney NSW 2000
1300 211 235

Melbourne Offices
Level 13, 114 William Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000
1300 211 235

Perth Offices
Level 32, 152 St Georges Terrace
Perth WA 6000
1300 211 235


Learn more about the team at the forefront of the Australian Cyber Security scene.

About Us →

Meet the Team →

Partnerships →

Learn more about the team at the forefront of the Australian Cyber Security scene.

Career Opportunities →

Internships →

Media appearances and contributions by Gridware and our staff.

See More →



Whether you need us to take care of security for you, respond to incidents, or provide consulting advice, we help you stay protected.

View all services →

Web App Pen. Test Calculator →

Network Pen. Test Calculator →

Governance & Audit

Legal and regulatory protection

Penetration Testing

Uncover system vulnerabilities

Remote Working & Phishing

Fortify your defenses

Cyber Security Strategy

Adaptation to evolving threats

Cloud & Infrastructure

Secure cloud computing solutions

Gridware 360

End-to-end security suite

Gridware Managed Services

Comprehensive & proactive security

Gridware CloudControl

Harness the benefits of cloud technology

Gridware Incident Response 24/7

Swift, expert-led incident resolution



A collection of our published insights, whitepapers, customer success stories and more.

Customer success stories from real Gridware customers. Find out how we have helped others stay on top of their Cyber Security.

Read More →