Every business needs two-factor authentication. Why? Very simply, it protects your users from getting scammed by protecting their password.

We live in a digital age, this means, everything we do is now online which creates data, no more so in your business. To be blunt, your data is your business and without it, you will not have one for long. This means business owners have a legal requirement to protect their data. Unfortunately, there is no one solution that you can employ. You must take a multi-layer approach to data security and one of the simplest is two-factor authentication (2FA).

Why use Two-Factor authentication?

Data is secured by a password or several passwords. Unfortunately, IT users are not very good at passwords. They like to choose memorable words or names. With your Facebook account, it is very easy for cyber-criminals to guess these or to access your network. For best results, you need an unrelated string of data with letters, numbers and special characters. Best is over 15 characters.

Two-factor authentication is a way of stopping this. In fact, you will be already familiar with 2FA, if you want to change your password on Facebook or Google they will send a code to your mobile for you to authenticate yourself. This is two-factor authentication.

Basically, 2FA or MFA (multi-factor authentication) is another level of security that reduces the chance of your password being hacked. It is very easy to use. When you log in to your office systems with your network username and password, the system will send you an authentication code. This is normally sent to your mobile phone or it could be to a hardware token. You simply input this code and hey presto, you have access. Simple, secure and cost-effective.

If you want to be ultra-secure, don’t use your mobile but a dedicated device called a hardware token. This means you are not reliant upon the mobile network. As with your passwords, your mobile could be hijacked and the scammer could gain access to the code and access your system as you.

How secure is two-factor authentication?

Nothing is perfect and as I already stated you need different layers of security. 2FA is not fool proof but as you are adding 2 layers of password security it makes it very difficult to access your account. Each token only lasts for about 30 seconds.  So, anyone accessing will need to be quick and if you are in any doubt you can always request another code.

One downside to 2FA and the extra layer of security is an extra step and slight delay in gaining access. However, if you except this, your business will be a lot more secure.

Many companies have now moved all their office applications into the cloud with Microsoft Office 365. If you have the right subscription, two-factor authentication is included in the cost. If in doubt, speak to your IT department or if you don’t have one, come to Unleashed and we will help you out.