How can Two-Factor Authentication Protect Your Small Business?
One way that hackers can get into your business accounts and data is through breaking your username and password combinations. If you haven’t heard it before, password strength is a big part of online security.
Hackers can use sophisticated, automated tools to go through a huge range of password combinations in the hope of breaking into your computer or online accounts or those of your customers. A password using just 6 letters in any combination has over 300 million different possibilities. If this sounds a lot, you might be horrified to learn that there is software that can spin through the combinations in under half a second.
That’s why your IT support partner will advise you to have a password policy in place. However, a good password alone may not give you enough protection.
The Problem with Passwords
Even if you add in letters and other characters as well as capitals, it still can’t completely safeguard you from hacking – it just takes the automated programs a little longer. There are also numerous other ways that your password can be discovered.
- As many as 4 out of 10 of us write them down.
- You could log into your account by an unsafe wi-fi hotspot.
- Your account might be compromised at the other end if a hacker gets into the date of your account holding company.
- A cyber criminal might even get into your password changing service and correctly guess your key questions.
Why Two Factor Authentication Makes Sense
That’s why IT support services recommend a two-factor authentication to protect your small business. That’s the password (something you know) and another layer of security – ideally something you have or need to supply once you log in.
Some banks are already using this kind of technology. You log in with your password and then the site asks you for a unique code. This is usually produced by a device which randomly creates the code once you have logged in. In other circles, this is called a token, basically a way of producing a random code for the user to input. Some security systems use a phone app, others send a text message with the code.
That means that the cybercriminals not only have to find your password but then have to generate the security code. All this makes your logging on to the site a lot more secure. The fact that the code is randomly generated each time you log in means there’s less chance of your account being breached.
If you want to increase security for your small business and your customers, two-factor authentication is fast become the industry standard.
If you don’t yet use it, perhaps it’s time you contacted your IT support partner for further details.