If you are among the 63% of online users who use the same password, it’s time to transition to two-factor authentication.
In 2019, approximately 81% of company data breaches were the result of compromised passwords. Most employees will reuse a password up to 14 times before moving on to a new one. Implementing two-factor authentication will greatly reduce the chance of data breaches. This blog will outline essential aspects of multi-factor authentication and how it can mitigate the potential security risks associated with password-protected access.
What is two-factor authentication?
The two-factor authentication method introduces a second method to verify you are the person associated with the login ID. After a person logs in with their credentials, they enter the second level of verification on a device you control, by using a verification app, security code from a text, email, or push notification. For more security-sensitive permissions, multi-factor authentication may be more appropriate.
Multi-factor authentication creates added security.
Multi-factor authentication takes it a step further. It uses two or more methods to authenticate identity. There are three “Whats” to remember: What you know, What you own, and What you are.
For instance, what you know is your password. Passwords should never be reused or duplicated and should always include numbers, special characters, and randomized letters. Avoid using easy to identify things such as maiden names, pet names, kids, anniversary dates, etc. The what you have element can be a mobile device, token, smart card, or in some cases, an ID Badge. Finally, you can include fingerprints, voice imprints, facial recognition, or even retinal scans.
In situations where security is paramount, having multi-factor authentication may be the best option.
Here’s where I need to provide a disclaimer: regardless of what authentication level you choose, none are 100% secure. As long as malicious individuals are there, the risk of security breaches is a real threat.
Reasons why two-factor authentication is a good idea?
The most important reason to implement a two-factor authentication policy is security. Two-factor authentication helps mitigate the risk of reused passwords by introducing a second method for employees to verify it is their account. With nearly 48% of employees using the same password for personal and business use, it greatly reduces potential vulnerabilities.
Another important benefit of two-factor authentication is it can also protect other devices that use your wireless network. Employees often connect their mobile devices to work wifi while on the job. Unless you have specific blocks in place, you can pretty much count on this and mobile devices can easily become a gateway to your network.
- Over the last few years, the occurrence of data breaches has increased.
- In 2019, about 80% of all data breaches were due to compromised passwords.
- Although almost everyone understands the risk of reusing passwords, 59% continue reusing passwords.
- 48% of workers use the same passwords for personal accounts and work accounts.
- In 2019, 42% of companies were breached by bad passwords.
Bottom line, two-factor authentication may not provide complete security, but it reduces your risk of a data breach.
Adopting two-factor authentication.
People use two-factor authentication through online services like banking, gaming, and social media platforms. Several email services have implemented mobile tools that authenticate users when logging into their accounts. Initiating a two-factor policy at your business may meet some resistance, but ultimately, employees will adopt the policy without issue and grow to appreciate the added security.
Ultimately, two-factor authentication requires very little effort for a lot of added security.
How do I implement two-factor authentication?
Setting up two-factor authentication is best handled by a knowledgeable IT professional. An IT professional set up the correct two-factor authentication application for your company.
DO’s and DONT’s of creating a password.
The average person manages anywhere between 70-80 passwords on a day-to-day basis. It’s no wonder folks start to experience password fatigue. Here are seven simple tips for creating and managing strong passwords.
- DO use a password manager like 1Password to manage your passwords and sensitive information. The app is used across all your devices and works as a virtual vault. It also generates extremely complex passwords. A password manager app’s benefit is you only have to remember the master password to access the vault and your passwords.
- DON’T reuse passwords or compromised passwords. Each log-in, regardless of the account, should be unique to that specific log-in.
- DO use upper and lower-case letters, numbers, and special characters.
- DON’T use personal information like a pet, child, anniversary date, maiden name, etc. All of this information can easily be discovered by a hacker.
- DO use two-factor authorization. As explained earlier in the article, having a second layer of protection can save you from a data breach.
- DO change your passwords regularly. We recommend changing your password every 60 days or less.
- DON’T share your passwords. Never write your passwords down on paper, or store them on your computer in a document or file.
Wanting to beef up your security? Contact Bit Perfection today to have our IT professional provide a consultation on how to implement two-factor authentication at your business.