What does Two Factor Authentication (2fa) mean for your Business?
Even if you don’t know what two factor authentication (2fa) is, you will have experienced it at some point in your digital life. Put simply, it’s a means to improve the customer experience and account security when you log into a digital platform like your banking app, online shopping accounts, or even Facebook.
You input your username and password, and you are then asked to verify your identity with a verification code, biometrics like fingerprint or facial recognition, or pin number.
As a consumer, you will be most used to this with your banking app when you make payment. You could be asked to take an additional verification step by authorising a transaction using your banking app.
But does this extra layer of security protect you from cyber attacks?
The answer to that is, unfortunately, yes and no. On the face of it, an extra layer of security is a positive step in your verification process, but there are some things that you need to know:
Usually used through your mobile devices, you scan your retina, fingerprint, or face. The device recognises that you are, well, you, and verifies your identity. But most often, your biometric data simply identifies you and allows the use of your password, pin number, or some other security key. And these keys can still be used without your biometric authentication.
The customer experience is improved, and there are security advantages, but the key point here is that you should still be using strong passwords when you first set the account up and regularly changing these using a password generator. This is especially important if this login allows access to the critical infrastructure in your business.
This app, available in Google Play for free, sits on your mobile phone and generates 2fa passwords to verify your login to Google Workspace(formerly GSuite). For businesses with infrastructure built on the Google Workspace platform, this is a good way to improve password security in you business with unique passwords created by the app.
However, the Google Authenticator sits on your mobile device, so good password management for your devices is important.
Zero-Day Exploits, Man in the Middle and Cyber attacks
Keeping a master password is, frankly, a recipe for disaster. You should never have a single password across multiple devices.
As part of your cybersecurity strategy, you should have a regular cycle where your passwords are changed across all of your IoT devices, hardware, software and platforms, and every other means that a threat actor could use to access your business.
This will reduce the threat of a cyberattack. A threat actor will try to access your systems in some way. Often through mobile devices.
They could introduce malware, gaining access to watch activity. Or position themselves so that they can intercept data, meaning that they could access your systems despite your use of 2fa.
A note about your Cyber security Strategy
Your strategy should include all aspects of cybersecurity in your business and integrate it across your business, especially if you have people working from home. Leaving something out will create a vulnerability that could be exploited.
The Benefits of Two Factor Authentication
The obvious benefit of 2fa is improved security. If biometric authentication is the chosen method then the person logging in can be verified as well since your biometric footprint is unique to you.
Working from home has presented challenges during the Covid-19 pandemic. Security has been top among those for staff accessing business systems remotely. The added step in security can help to reduce the risk of cyberattacks through hacked accounts, or attacks using networks with poorer security like home broadband networks.
In the office the same principles apply, so staff logging into business systems must prove that they have the right to access, and in the case of shared space or hotdesking, any logins will be for specific user accounts, so no sharing can take place. And that bad habit presents a serious security risk.
How can 39d help?
We can work with you to develop an IT strategy in your business that fits your model, business objectives, and budget. Part of that is developing your cyber security strategy so that your IT is secure, and the processes that you need are in place to ensure that your business infrastructure stays that way.
You can book an initial consultation with us here
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