Online security breaches can be expensive and productivity-killing events. When a nefarious third party acquires an employee password, it’s no party at all.
Many online businesses have begun using Two-Step Verification, also known as Two-Factor Authentication, to introduce an extra layer of protection against hackers and other cyber villains.
A number of juggernaut tech companies rely on some form of Two-Step Verification to store and exchange private information, including Apple, Google, Microsoft, Dropbox, Evernote, Yahoo, and PayPal. Two-Step Verification works by controlling which computers, tablets, phones, and other devices can access online accounts, requiring a user who’s logging on for the first time on a new device to enter an authorization key. Account owners assign a specific authentication key to each device—whether a cell phone or USB dongle key—which the user receives via text message, telephone call, or application. The key is time-sensitive, so any given key code only works for a short duration. If an account owner discovers a breach, all they need to do is sign on to the account with an already approved device and change the password.
Still wondering whether Two-Step Verification is right for you? Check out this list of benefits:
Stolen Passwords Are Relatively Useless
If someone steals a password for an account that uses Two-Step Verification, that password is entirely useless unless the crook stole the authentication device as well, or has access to systems already approved for use. If they have the device but not the password, they’re also not getting through. In other words, the key and password are useless without each other.
Control Which Machines Access Accounts
Two-Step Verification makes it so an account owner can choose which devices have access to confidential accounts. For example, a business may opt to enable access to specific devices for employees, but withhold the authentication key to prevent people from enabling access on unapproved devices. Alternatively, someone may opt to sync their workstation and personal laptop via the Cloud to work seamlessly between the two devices, but keep the laptop unauthenticated for confidential accounts because it poses a higher security risk. The workstation would act as an intermediary device in this case.
Brute Force Hacks Fail
Brute force hacks systematically guess passwords and keys until they find the one that works. Since Two-Step Verification systems change the key after short intervals, brute force hacking procedures have to start from the beginning each time the interval elapses. The key is a moving target, which makes a brute force hack contingent on luck. The hack will almost certainly be identified and blocked before it cracks the code.
The downside? Two-Step Verification can be a bit tedious to configure. And because it prevents bad things from happening instead of making good things happen, it may feel like an unrewarded effort.
A managed service provider can help your business develop and implement a Two-Step Verification plan today. Two-Step Verification can streamline data sharing and increase productivity, saving you time and money by preventing security breaches over third-party platforms. Get in touch with a trusted local IT consulting service to protect what’s most important to your business.