Australian Assistant Defence Minister Andrew Hastie has urged citizens to use multi-factor authentication (MFA) for enhanced cyber protection.

The call for use of MFA follows a roundtable discussion that outlined its importance.

MFA is a cybersecurity measure that requires users to prove their identity with at least two or more pieces of evidence to gain access to online information and accounts.

Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) head Abigail Bradshaw said it has released step-by-step guidelines to help Australians set up MFA on several social media applications and devices as well as email and message applications.

Australian Defence Minister Linda Reynolds launched the new ACSC campaign in December. She said that more than one cybercrime is reported by Australians every ten minutes.

Minister Hastie said: “Where possible, we are encouraging people to use multi-factor authentication on your online programmes and devices for greater protections against cybercrime and cybercriminals.

“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 cybersecurity threats for organisations, businesses and individuals.”

Last August, the Federal Government of Australia announced an investment of $1.67bn over ten years, including $1.35bn as a Cyber Enhanced Situational Awareness and Response (CESAR) package, to boost cyber resilience.