Did you know that in 2018 alone, data breaches affected billions of data? These breaches also led to billions of dollars’ worth of damages. Not only do attacks compromise your important business files and data but your customers’ information, as well.
There are many ways we can protect ourselves, though, and none of them is convenient. One of those protections is two-factor authentication, in which logging in takes two steps.
Is it worth getting this type of IT support for small business ventures? Are two steps all it takes to guard your information? See for yourself by reading the five reasons why you should turn it on below.
1. Two-Factor Authentication Adds Another Layer of Security
Two-factor authentication involves two steps to verify the user. It provides a layer of authentication other than what single-factor authentication provides. The second step may be a biometric factor, a security token, or a code sent via text message or an app.
This process makes it harder for hackers to gain access to your device and online accounts. Even if they have your password, they will not be able to go further.
This option is important nowadays when hackers are getting creative at stealing passwords. They can get yours by hacking into a Wi-Fi network you are connected to. They can also get it through phishing attacks, wherein they will try to get you to enter your password into a fake site.
Using malware, they can even record the strokes on your keyboard. Even when you are careful against such tactics, they can still get your password by hacking the website itself.
If you have two-factor authentication, though, you are still protected. With SMS authentication, for instance, they will have to enter the code you will receive via SMS before they gain access.
2. Employees Might Be Using Weak Passwords
Sometimes, hackers do not have to know your password. They can use a program to force their way into your account.
Here is what happens in a brute force attack. The attacker “guesses” your password using a program.
It tries out combinations of words, letters, and symbols. It is so effective that a computer can crack your password in only two hours.
The most basic example is a dictionary attack. In this type of attack, a computer enters every word in the dictionary starting with the ones most commonly used as passwords.
Another example is recycling. Here, the attacker reuses usernames and passwords from a previous breach.
Weak passwords, therefore, are most susceptible to this kind of attack. As we have learned, even strong passwords with a combination of lowercase letters, uppercase letters, numbers, and symbols are vulnerable.
There is also an issue with using a strong, hard-to-crack password – it is hard to remember. This reality is the same issue with companies requiring users to change their passwords now and then.
3. Reusing of Passwords is Common
Because a strong password is hard to remember, reusing passwords is pretty common. Around 71% of accounts have duplicate passwords.
The problem with this practice is that if a hacker compromised one of your accounts, they will then gain access to all your other accounts. This is a huge problem for employees who use the same password on sketchy websites and their business email, for instance.
Having two-factor authentication turned on in all your accounts gets rid of this risk. Even if they get all your passwords, they cannot enter into any of your accounts.
4. Hackers Can Now Answer Security Questions
Did you know that you may not be as secure as you may have been before when using a security question? This option used to be a safe way to verify the user’s identity because they are supposed to be questions only the user can answer.
It is not safe anymore, though, in the era of social media. With enough effort, anyone can look through your profile to find out your first pet, for instance. You may also have shared the name of your favorite teacher.
Things, like the year you graduated and the city you grew up in, are easily accessible, too. You fill up your Facebook profile with that information.
Some answers are also available through public records. In short, anyone might be able to answer your security questions with enough time and effort. An attacker may even try to hazard a guess instead of finding out your pet’s name.
Some people try to strengthen their security questions by using nonsense answers. When they are asked when they graduated, for instance, they can instead answer with a car brand. It can work with non-related things, like the name of their crush and such.
However, this option bears the risk of the user forgetting the answer. If the answer could be anything, how can you remember?
These kinds of risks are not present with two-factor authentication. Hackers will not be able to change your password, gain access to your account, or anything else. You also will have access to the second step anytime.
5. We Can’t Avoid User Mistakes
Your password might be the strongest ever – something that even computers cannot crack. The website might also have the strongest protection and best technology against attackers that makes it impossible for hackers to gain user passwords. You may have the best IT support for small business security.
However, even the strongest security measures cannot do anything against user mistakes. An employee of yours may write their password on a notepad so they do not forget it. In that case, their password becomes vulnerable.
They may also give the information unknowingly to hackers. They can, for example, fall for email scams and phishing attacks. They can visit malicious websites that download malware onto their computers.
All the training in the world cannot make all employees stay vigilant 24/7. Most of these instances can happen when they are comfortable, like in their homes.
Two-factor authentication can help you stay secure in these situations.
Need IT Support for Small Business Security?
Two-factor authentication is not the fix for all your security concerns. You need good IT support for small business data protection.
For that, you need the best. Contact us today for more information on how we can protect your business.
Sagacent Technologies offers technology management and support, including proactive/preventative maintenance, onsite and offsite data back-ups, network and security audits, mobility solutions, disaster planning and emergency business resumption services. The company serves clients of 10 to 150 employees within the Silicon Valley region.