Most of us wouldn’t give out our car keys to random strangers but using insecure passwords can be just as bad. It’s not uncommon for people to use the same password for several logins and make it easy to remember so they don’t get locked out.
Unfortunately, cyber criminals are betting on this lax password management, and hacking or stealing login credentials is their bread and butter. Once, they have access to a network, device, or login, they can plant spyware, potentially access an online bank account, steal sensitive employee or customer data, and much more.
Our Connect2Geek Managed Security Services Team helps companies in Nampa, ID and the surrounding area protect their networks and data from breaches. And one of the “best practices” that we instill in our clients for the best protection from credential theft is to use two-factor authentication (2FA), also known as multi-factor authentication (MFA).
Did you know? 81% of hacking-related data breaches are the result of stolen or hacked passwords! So, using a protocol that adds an additional layer of security to your password logins, goes a long way toward preventing breaches of your network and devices.
What is 2FA/MFA?
You may already be using 2FA on a personal bank account or an iTunes or Google Play account for additional security. What two-factor authentication does is try to verify you are who you say you are during login by sending a code to a device you would have on your person, like a mobile phone, and that a hacker would not.
Once enabled for an applciation, your login would go something like this:
- You enter your username and password
- You’re prompted to click a button that will send you a time-sensitive code
- Typically, you’ll receive the code by text message immediately
- You enter that code to complete your login
Why Should You Use Two-Factor Authentication?
Businesses can significantly increase their security by adding this simple extra step to logins. But many still haven’t implemented it for all their employees and for all work applications and programs they use.
Here are some compelling reasons to make this a key cornerstone of any company cybersecurity policy.
1. Passwords Can Bypass Anti-Virus & Firewalls
You may think your security software is all you need to protect you from malware infections and breaches, but if a hacker steals an admin password, they can get right inside your system, bypassing your IT security, and plant whatever malicious code they like.
2. Many of Your Staff are Probably Using Weak Passwords
It’s amazing how many people still use easily hackable passwords like “password123” or “qwerty” for their login. According to the Pew Research Center, 86% of Americans memorize passwords, which means they’re going to be on the easier side, and easy for criminals to hack.
3. Data Breaches Can Significantly Hurt Your Business
Getting hacked causes some small businesses to close their doors if they don’t have the proper backup and recovery plan in place. Costs incurred from a data breach include the immediate costs of fixing it, recovery costs, and long-term costs from loss of customer trust.
4. Password Theft is a Popular Tool of Hackers
Stealing passwords is right up at the top of a hacker’s “to-do” list because login credentials open the door to being a recognized user in a system, so they don’t have to use any backdoor codes or try to get around a firewall.
5. Adding 2FA/MFA is Easy
Many programs, like Office 365, already have the ability to enable 2FA for all your users with the click of a button. This allows you to easily implement it company-wide in just a day, with users being prompted to set it up automatically once it’s enabled.
6. It Prevents Script-based Hacks
If a hacker is using a sophisticated password cracking script, having multi-factor authentication enabled will stop it in its tracks, because even if breaches the password, its not going to get pass the extra code input requirement.
7. Use One Master 2FA Program for Everything
Worried that having to enable 2FA for all the different programs you use is going to be a hassle? Connect2Geek is a Duo partner, which is one of the most comprehensive 2FA/MFA tools on the market. With Duo, we can help you enable secure connections for all your business applications from a single interface. The interface also allows you to easily grant or revoke user access to all protected applications quickly.
Need Help Setting up 2FA for All Your Programs?
This simple step can protect you tenfold from data breaches, viruses, and malware, and Connect2Geek can help you set up 2FA in no time.
Contact us today for a free demo of Duo or to ask any other questions about setting up two-factor authentication at your office. We’re here for you online or by phone at 208-468-4323.