Building Your Business with the Power of Three
Every business these days needs to have its roots in a digital environment. It would be madness to only accept cash and attempt to keep your accounting by hand. Likewise, you couldn’t possibly manage your employees or reliably market your business without software and the Internet. Sufficed to say, no matter how you plan on making a living, it likely is not possible without computers and the World Wide Web. This means proper security measures are vital.
Protecting Your Business with Robust Security
Of course, the above probably isn’t news to most of you. The Internet has been vital for business for two decades now and, since the beginning, security has been essential.The problem is that most companies aren’t keeping up with the times. Their security measures are from yesterday while hackers are continuously evolving the way they launch their attacks.
Phishing scams may still be one of the most rudimentary examples. Through email or a phone call, a malicious party can pretend to be someone else—an IT administrator, coworker, etc.—and simply ask questions to retrieve sign-in credentials. This may sound too simple to work, but it’s one of the most effective forms of hacking. Nonetheless, the majority of companies are content to simply warn their employees about this type of thing, despite the fact that it keeps happening over and over.
On the other end of the spectrum, you have brute force attacks. These are generally the preferred method of attack for those who have a bit more technical acumen. This involves using software that is decidedly less refined. Once set to its task, brute force software will simply try combination after combination of characters until one of them finally works.
That might sound hard to believe, but it’s very possible, especially when you consider how simple most passwords are. Many hackers put a Python script to work and leave it for a day or two before returning to find the access they wanted.
Even that hardly scratches the surface of what is possible though. The point is that if you don’t have comprehensive security measures in place, your business’ entire digital infrastructure—from your website to the records you keep on customers—will become an irresistible target. Worse still, you could get hacked and not even know it.
There’s good news though. As long as you understand the three-pronged security approach currently available to companies like yours, you’re unlikely to make a very appealing target to cyber attackers.
Single Sign-On (SSO)
The first security measure you should know about is single sign-on. SSO has become a necessity for most companies because of how many passwords employees need to use these days.
A decade or so ago, they may have only needed one or two. Now, though, most people’s jobs involve signing onto multiple platforms throughout the day. They could easily need a dozen different passwords just to do their job.
Is there any chance they’re going to simply remember them all? Of course not! Not if you want them to pick strong passwords of at least six characters that include uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters and not if you insist, as you should, that they don’t pick anything easy like a version of their last name or favorite movie.
These demands are why so many employees end up choosing “Password” or just “123456” for passwords and then, predictably, get hacked with little effort. With SSO, your employees only have to remember one password. Even if they each need to use 100 throughout the day.
Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
This is where multi-factor authentication (MFA) comes in. With MFA, no one factor of identity (like a password) will be enough to get into your company’s most protected area. Instead, at least two will be required.
Where MFA takes things a step further, though, is by requiring different factors of identification. This is how you avoid the problem of an employee picking “Password” and “123456” for their two passwords and calling it a day.
The three factors used for MFA are:
- Something you know (a password)
- Something you have (a keyfob)
- Something you are (your fingerprint)
Use any combination of these three factors and you have multi-factor authentication!
A hacker may be able to get a user’s password, but they won’t get their smartphone at the same time (if they do, presumably this won’t go unnoticed, making it possible to change the other password immediately).
With a good password management system, virtually the entire process can be automated. Not only do they provide a central hub to your employees for managing their passwords, but this also gives you the opportunity to easily audit how they’re being used to.
By themselves, any of the above resources would prove effective at keeping hackers away from your company’s sensitive data. Combined, though, they will prove to be too formidable a force for any cyber attack. No hacker wants to waste their time trying to battle the Power of Three when there are easier targets out there relying on tired practices for protection.