What You Need to Know About Two Factor Authentication
Are you still “only” using a password for authentication? If so, you’re taking some dangerous and unnecessary chances with your personal and company data and business applications.
Cybercriminals are always looking for creative ways to gain access to corporate computer systems. The traditional process of gaining remote access to business systems involves navigating to a website or mobile app and entering your password — and you’re in! Unfortunately, humans are extremely poor at picking passwords . . . and hackers are extremely good at figuring them out based on clues from social media sites and by using specialized software that checks for simple passwords. With two factor authentication, you’re able to add a new layer of security to your systems that reduce overall risk for your organization without causing a significant slowdown for your business staff.
What is Two Factor Authentication?
Also abbreviated as 2FA, two-factor authentication is considered the next level of security for organizations of all sizes. Merely using a password leaves your business open to cyber threats, particularly when you recognize that nearly 83% of Americans are using weak passwords. Enabling two-factor authentication is not difficult on most systems, and your staff is probably already using it without realizing what they are doing. Anytime someone signs into Google, Facebook or other major providers, they are often asked a challenge question or asked to share a 6-digit code that has been texted to their phone. The goal of this second method of identifying an individual is to ensure that the person logging into your systems is genuinely authorized to be there. While you might hear users complain about the additional step required to access their account, you can feel much more confident knowing that your sensitive customer information and business applications have a greater level of security applied that will help reduce the risk of infiltration.
How Two Factor Authentication Works
In terms of two-factor authentication, a “factor” is more than merely responding to an additional challenge question after entering your password. These challenges questions were popular in the past and could be anything from your mother’s maiden name to the mascot where you graduated from high school or the name of your first pet. While this is credible information that a hacker wouldn’t have, providing this additional information isn’t technically a second factor. A second factor could include something that you have, somewhere you are location or something that you are. Both these secondary factors and your password will be required to gain access to a secured account. In practical terms, this often involves sending a text message to a connected phone or mobile device with a code, or providing users with a separate physical device that displays a randomly-generated number that must be matched to a website. While not used as often as your cell phone as a verifying mechanism, biometrics such as your thumbprint or a retina scan can also be used to authenticate an individual.
Ready to learn more about implementing two-factor authentication for your business? Contact the professionals at Intelice Solutions at (301) 664-6800 to see how this more secure method of connecting can help protect your organization and reduce the risks of cyberattack or data loss. When you work with Intelice Solutions, we are continually reviewing your current business practices to ensure you have the most up-to-date security measures that will reduce risk and improve operations for your company. You can reach us anytime to schedule your free initial consultation and our technical experts will help walk through the various ways we can support your organization’s security and boost efficiency.