Gone are the days where a user name and a password were the only thing standing between and you and the site you wanted to log into.  Even with clever and complex choices for your passwords, we soon learned that cyber thieves had ways to hack these “password protected” accounts and access personal financial information or confidential business information.

It is clear that the “gate-keeping” to our networks needs a more robust answer.  Enter the X-Factor… or rather Two-Factor Authentication.

What is it?
Most of you are already familiar with Two-Factor Authentication (2FA).  Take for example people who do on-line banking.  When doing this, have you ever tried to access your account from a different computer?  You put in your proper login credentials and then you get a message that basically tells you, “Whoa, we are not sure that you are you, so we are going to send an authentication code to your phone to cover our …...”  

Probably the first time this happened to you, you were a little surprised, or even annoyed, as it adds another few seconds to your usual login routine, but you typically get the code quickly and you can get on with your business within a minute or so.  But 2FA is an added buffer that gives you an additional layer of security to help to protect you from cyber-thieves looking for your data.  It protects your logins such as those for your email, your phone system, your on-line banking and requires a second step whenever you are trying to access your information.  This second step is known as, go figure, 2-Step Verification and it requires a username and password AND the entering of an auto-generated security code as part of your routine sign in process.  To keep things one step ahead of hackers, the security code that is generated changes every time you access your account.

Thwarting the hacker, 2FA can protect your account even if you have been hacked as it prevents the hacker from getting any further into your account even if they have your username and your password.  The auto-generation of the security code is generated by an app that then sends the code to your phone, so that means that ONLY the person physically holding the phone and who has all of the other login information will have enough login details to access the account.

You can implement this security feature too!
If you add this feature to your network, here’s a brief overview for how it works when you try to login.

  • You connect to your remote computer or remote session
  • You type in your username and password as usual
  • You proceed to the next step, which “pauses’ the login access
  • You open the authenticator app on your mobile device or smart phone
  • You type the security code or select “allow” or “deny” the login
  • You are now logged in SECURELY
Not to worry, most browsers will keep you logged in long enough to go through the process.  

Although 2FA isn’t new, it is certainly becoming more and more popular as a secondary measure to ensure your security.  Remember that the more layers of security you deploy will greatly reduce the chances of a hacker hacking their way in to your system.  Requiring multiple components to help confirm a user’s identity goes a long way to protecting your employees and your business

They say that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Having 2FA is a security measure that savvy companies understand they need to implement.  If you haven’t already added 2FA to your business security strategy, it’s certainly time to start!

Contact us today if you would like to learn more!

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Power Up with John Hassler is a blog distributed by Tech 2020 Solutions, and written by John Hassler, President and Founder of the company.  To reach John, contact him at 516.876.8761 or via email at news@Tech2020solutions.com.  Connect on Linked In and Facebook.