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Using Two-Factor Authentication: Why Your Business Needs It

In today’s online environment, many organizations use a username and password to protect sensitive information. This method is often rudimentary and does not provide the level of security that companies need to protect their data. As it turns out, usernames and passwords are easy targets for cybercriminals. With the ability to perform several thousand combinations each second, it’s very simple for individuals to hack into someone’s account by deciphering their username and password. In this critical time of cybersecurity, you need to be more careful than ever to protect your confidential data. This is where two-factor authentication can help.

What is Two-Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication — also known as 2FA, two-step verification or multifactor authentication — is an additional layer of security designed to protect your business. This method creates another level of proof that the person logging in is whom they say they are by generating a one-time code that only the user can access. This means that the user needs to prove their identity two different ways before gaining access to the systems, which makes your accounts more difficult to breach. The second step of authentication typically includes a user’s smartphone or other feature that is unique only to them. This will dramatically reduce the probability that your business will be the subject of a cyber attack because they don’t have the second form of authentication. When they realize this, they will likely move on to an easier target.

As data breaches become more of a threat to businesses of all sizes, it’s essential for your company to put this extra layer of security in place to protect the employees and all business information. Deploying this approach to security can save your business from a costly data breach but can also provide increased productivity and understanding among employees. While adding an extra step to the security process might sound counter-intuitive to productivity, it ensures that all users are protected no matter where they are working. With so many workforces becoming mobile, allowing employees to work remotely, the two-factor authentication process assures that the user’s and the organization’s data will always be secure no matter where the employees are working. The increased understanding comes standard with two-factor authentication because you and your employees will know immediately when someone is trying to access the accounts. With the lackluster username and password approach, nobody would know when a hacker enters the system because it looks like a typical login from an authorized user. With two-factor authentication, key stakeholders are notified immediately and can rectify the situation before harmful data is exposed.

With so many benefits surrounding two-factor authentication, your business can’t afford to continue relying on the username and password model. It’s worth deploying the extra step to protect your confidential data and keep your business running smoothly.

How to Better Utilize Two-Factor Authentication

Now that you know what two-factor authentication is, it’s just as important to understand how to deploy it in your business. There are a variety of methods you can use to implement as the second step in the verification process; the key is to choose what works for your business and what is unique to each user. It needs to be convenient and easy for your employees to integrate into their process. One convenient option that doesn’t require the technical sophistication of retina scans or fingerprints is the one-time password solution. This one-time password is a code that contains a series of letters or numbers that is unique to each situation and only active for a short period, so the user can only use it immediately. This code can be delivered via SMS, email, a voice call, hardware tokens like a key fob or USB dongle, or software tokens via an installed application. It’s important to understand what method of delivery is the easiest for your employees and your business. Using the wrong solution can burden your users without necessarily offering an added level of security.

The key to successfully implementing two-factor authentication is by understanding the security threats facing your business and deploying the right methods for your users. If you need help finding the solution that is right for you, contact the security professionals at Level 4 IT. They will listen to your unique needs and create a viable solution that will not only make your business more secure but will increase understanding across your entire organization, leading to faster detection and greater protection of your sensitive business data.