A username and password may have sufficed for our professional predecessors, but the hackers nowadays aren’t your grandma’s hackers. Malicious programmers of today can test billions of password combinations per second. With this technology, they can expose 90% of all passwords. That’s a scary thought when you think of all your business data sitting behind login screens. Combating these information thieves requires some extra firepower: the 2-step, or 2-factor, authentication.
How Does It Work?
2-step authentication requires users to verify their identity through, you guessed it, two different means. The first is almost always a password of some sort, and the second is something they can physically access. This second piece of information is incredibly difficult for cybercriminals to replicate.
Do Smaller Businesses Really Need It?
Hackers are increasingly targeting small to mid-sized businesses. They do this because security is generally lower than a larger company, while still offering them a treasure trove of information to exploit. Cybercriminals that find their way into an administrator account will be able to access your email, documents, spreadsheets, financial records, and more. With 2-step authentication, the hackers are up against another level of security which often is enough to keep them at bay.
What Types of 2FA Are Available?
This second piece of information can come in many forms. It is important that it is personalized so that only the user has access to it. Different options include:
- Text messages or emails. These are codes sent after a successful login to complete the verification process.
- Biological prints such as fingerprints or retina scans. Unless your hacker is Ethan Hunt, it’s pretty safe to bet that these won’t be replicated.
- Hardware tokens such as a key fob. These physical devices will dynamically generate codes for the user.
- Software tokens. As an alternative to a physical device, the user will need to install an application on their phone or mobile device to access the code.
If you think it’s important to put your money in a safe at the end of the workday or have security cameras monitoring your entrances during the night, you will definitely want to consider the protection of 2-step authentication for your company’s data. For further advice on IT safety and services, call us today at 1-800-842-9452!