Why Does Your Company Need Two-Factor Authentication Software?

    Why Does Your Company Need Two-Factor Authentication Software?

    Most IT departments in companies recognize that a traditional password is extremely easy to guess, and even easier to steal. However, two-factor authentication (2FA) can easily add a second layer of high level security to guard against hackers and cyber-thieves.

    The process requires additional factors of verification when attempting to gain access into the system. This provides better security and more protection along with a safer network. The additional layers of protection it provides go far beyond the traditional username/password combination.

    There are various methods to achieve the second layer of verification. However, the simplest solution is to use a soft or hard token. These authenticating tokens can be acquired as a physical device that will easily clip to a keychain, or software solutions can transform a smart phone application into a one-time use token to gain access into a secure account. The process allows the user to verify their credentials only after they have inputted the correct username/password combination.

    Why Your Company Needs 2FA 

    Within the last decade, computer technology has evolved quickly. Even the simplest computers now operate with huge processing power that make it easy for hackers to perform high level tactics at cracking or deciphering passwords. As a result, the hacker can easily decipher a password with relative ease in just a few minutes. Companies that do not incorporate a high level of protocol in generating passwords make it even easier for the hacker. A large majority of individuals use simple passwords including “ABC123”, “QWERTY” and the most used one “password”.

    Generating poorly created passwords can put confidential information at the risk of being compromised. At the company level, this can easily expose confidential secrets that involve competitors and customers. Even companies that incorporate high levels of security with well-managed passwords can easily fall victim to a cyber-attack when an employee makes a mistake when logging in or out of their account. As a solution, two-factor authentication provides the additional layer of security that prevents many of the problems from ever occurring at all. 

    The Additional Layer 

    The additional layer of 2FA is the simplest solution for preventing a breach in security. It requires one of two additional factors to gain access into any online account, or the company’s Internet server. To work effectively, the user simply inputs the traditional username/password combination before inputting the second layer of security. Once the user has passed the first hurdle, the process of 2FA will prompt the user to input the second factor.

    The additional factor can be a separate temporary password generated by a hardware or software token. It can also be a physical token such as a USB device that holds a specific, one-time password that will allow the user to gain access. Large companies incorporate 2FA into the swipe cards that allow the employees to gain access into the facility or individual rooms in a company building. By adding a swipe card reader to the computer, laptop, or mobile device, including a smart phone or tablet, the employee can gain access to an online account or into the company server. 

    Maintaining Compliance 

    Businesses that perform work for government agencies must maintain compliance standards when gaining access to online accounts. This includes companies associated with HIPAA, CJIS (Criminal Justice Information Services), PCI and others.

    Many government agencies require the use of two-factor authentication to gain access into their databases, especially from remote locations. Businesses, along with local and state governments could lose their access and incur strict penalties if they are not in full compliance. Many of the procedures and protocols required in obtaining two-factor authentication are not based on the type of 2FA method, but the fact that the user is prompted to input a second layer of verification before gaining access into a government database.

    Falling Victim

    Many large companies including Evernote, Yahoo, MSN, Google, Twitter, Dropbox, Amazon, Facebook and others have all fallen victim to cyber-attacks. Additionally, the online link to most major banking institutions have closed down for hundreds of hours at a time in an attempt to ward off serious attacks from hackers eager to gain access into online accounts.

    Two-factor authentication has been proven to reduce website attacks and identity theft. Now that many companies are moving their business to cloud computing technology for the benefits of reduced complexity and easy scalability, the need for 2FA has never been stronger. The trends in telecommuting and performing work through mobile devices has reached a level where it is imperative to secure crucial company data from locations anywhere in the world. Mobile technology has created a major shift in the paradigm of online security. As the trend for 2FA continues to rise in popularity, it is more important than ever that every company incorporate the process into their IT infrastructure.

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