Two-factor authentication is popping up everywhere in the consumer world of banking and email access. Here’s why you should adopt this security standard for your business.
In a world where you can now unlock your phone with your face, is it unrealistic to think that a simple password is enough to maintain a high level of security in your business? Banks and other financial institutions were among the first to adopt multi-factor authentication of any type, with two-factor authentication (2FA) being the most commonly implemented option for businesses. Humans are challenged to remember the complex passwords that our network administrators insist upon, with users falling back to using the same password in multiple locations or other risky security behavior. With two-factor authentication, businesses may be less vulnerable to attacks.
Benefits of Two-Factor Authentication
Remote monitoring and management software is among the most vulnerable, simply because you’re explicitly allowing external entities to access your business systems. Hackers are beginning to target managed IT service provider platforms and cloud-based software for just that very reason — because there’s the perception that security may be reduced from an internal-only system. When businesses adopt 2FA across all business platforms, the system’s overall security is reinforced immediately. Here are three benefits of adopting this additional security step in your business.
- The next logical step towards a passwordless future in business
- Reduces the dangers associated with poor password hygiene
- Provides users with a way to self-service their account access resets
Many IT help desks spend a significant amount of time answering user queries about resetting their password or regaining access to a particular platform. With two-factor authentication enabled, users are often able to securely and quickly self-service to regain access to business systems. This can save a significant amount of time for help desk personnel, allowing these individuals to focus on software patches or other critical business tasks.
Is Going Password-Free Really an Option?
There are still many devices that lack biometric input options, making it challenging to truly move to a passwordless future — yet. Industry research of 4,000 employees across the UK, France and the Netherlands showed that 78% of those individuals were not following best practices when it comes to creating a secure password. Some of the big issues were password re-use, jotting down password information in their phone or on a piece of paper and using passwords that didn’t provide an adequate level of security or were easily guessed. This frightening fact is eye-opening for business users, but is unlikely to surprise those who work in technology on a regular basis. A 2018 Spiceworks study showed that up to 62% of organizations planned to use biometric information in the workplace, but there are still significant security concerns for staff members and contractors that need to be addressed.
Challenges with 2FA
This additional level of security could include everything from a series of questions and answers, an SMS token, a hard token or even knowledge-based questions. Phishing landing pages that gather 2FA information from users, the annoyance of maintaining hard tokens on your person, and mobile phone forwarding can all take 2FA down without much of a fight, especially for an experienced hacker. That said, it’s still significantly more secure than a single password, especially when you consider the volume of individuals making poor password choices.
Creating a highly secure environment for your business may begin with a simple password conversation, but must also go much deeper to unravel any processes that are increasing the security risk to your organization. Contact the dedicated IT services team at BC Networks today at (408) 214-4490 or fill out our quick online form to see how your organization can overcome security challenges and create more consistent processes for your business.