The information we keep online is too important to only safeguard with a single string of characters. Our security methods must evolve. Our corporate IT security is mostly reliant on passwords to protect our data.
Is a password enough to keep your business data safe?
Why 2FA is becoming an Essential Part of IT Security
Two-factor authentication (2FA) means that whatever application or service you’re logging in to is double-checking that the request is really coming from you by confirming the login with you through a separate venue.
2FA is essential to IT security because it immediately neutralizes the risks associated with compromised passwords. If a password is hacked, guessed, or even phished, that’s no longer enough to give an intruder access: without approval at the second factor, a password alone is useless.
Types Of 2FA
There are numerous types of 2FA that are out there. The most common type of 2FA are apps such as Google Authenticator or Authy, that can be configured to generate an OTP that changes every 30 seconds or so. However, there are many more types of 2FA that can be used, such as:
- Token Devices – like the YubiKey, RSA tokens or CryptoCard.
- Authenticator Apps – passcodes can be generated by an app on your device, or a pop-up approval to verify your credentials
- Phone call-backs – Phone callbacks are one of the less popular versions of 2FA, but they’re an effective — if time-consuming — way to implement a second factor. In a phone callback setup, once a user logs in, they receive an automated phone call that prompts them to approve or deny the access request.
- Bio-metrics – such as a fingerprint reader or retinal scanner.
Why Is 2FA More Secure?
Think about it this way – if your username and password are compromised, then a hacker can access your account as they have all the data they need to be authenticated. This gets even worse if you’re using the same password in more than one place, as a hacker can re-use those credentials to log in to other accounts that you own. However, if you’re using 2FA on that same site that was just compromised, a hacker would also need your second factor of authentication in order to compromise your credentials. In most cases, this is your mobile phone. So unless you’ve given the hacker your phone, you’re still pretty safe – although I would recommend changing your password anyway. Whilst 2FA isn’t a magic pill that cures all kinds of credential harvesting, it does go a long way to making your online accounts far more secure.
MLogic is a leading provider of Managed IT Services, Cloud Services and IT Security Services. MLogic has partnered with DUO (a Cisco Company) to provide 2FA to customers for services such as Office 365, Microsoft AD and RDP, Microsoft Azure, and others.