Why should businesses use 2-factor authentication?

With so much of our lives happening online, it is no surprise that our digital accounts have become a magnet for cyber criminals. As users open more and more accounts they suddenly have far too many passwords to remember. This can lead to every security expert’s worst nightmare: password recycling. Understandably hackers thrive off this unfortunate human habit.  Hacking software has the capability to test thousands of stolen log-in credentials on internet banking or shopping sites. If you reuse username and passwords, there is a high likelihood one stolen password could unlock multiple online accounts. 2 factor authentication is an extra layer of security which can help combat the challenge of weak or recycled passwords.

Why is there a need for 2 factor authentication?

Passwords alone are a very weak form of authentication. What makes this worse is that many internet users do not update passwords on a regular basis. Unfortunately living in the digital age, passwords can be easily hijacked by cyber criminals. This can happen through sheer brute force or by simple phishing attacks.

What is 2-factor authentication?

Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a security process in which the user needs to provide two different authentication factors to verify their identity and gain access to a specific application.  This is used to protects a user’s credentials and the sensitive information the user can access. 2 factor authentication provides a much higher level of assurance as multi-factor authentication (MFA) is an additional security layer which helps to address the vulnerabilities of a password-only approach.

Businesses are no longer able to ignore this as 2FA can greatly lower the likelihood of phishing attacks and identity theft. MFA means hackers are unable to compromise log-ins with usernames and password alone. Even if a bad actor is able to get hold of your password, they won’t be able to access your private applications unless they also have your phone or security key.

What are the examples of why 2fa would need to be used?

  • Do users at your organisation use password managers such as LastPass? These password vaults need to be completely safeguarded as they are treasure trove of sensitive data. It would be foolish to use a password only approach to accessing these systems. Multi-factor authentication would help to reduce the risk of cyber criminals accessing your vault if they were to steal your login credentials.
  • 2FA can also be used to log into corporate devices, internal systems or business critical applications such as Office365, accounting systems or CRM’s. This helps to safeguard against unsolicited access to corporate data.
  • Most banks now have two-factor authentication available. This not only reduces the risk of cyber breaches it also improves the security of customer accounts. As we all know, a breach can be very damaging to reputation and trust.

What is the benefit of 2-factor authentication for your business?

  • Stronger security

    Having a second form of identification greatly decreases the chance of a hacker gaining access to corporate devices or other sensitive information.

  • Increase productivity and flexibility

    Many businesses are now embracing remote working as it encourages productivity. 2-factor authentication implementation allows employees to safely access corporate systems from any device or location-without putting sensitive data at risk.

  • Lower help desk and security management costs

    Two-Factor authentication helps to reduce time-consuming password-resets which help desks are burdened with. 2FA provides a safe way for users to reset their own passwords. The outcome for businesses is increased employee productivity.

  • Reduce fraud and build secure online relationships

    Identity theft is on the rise. This can be extremely damaging to businesses as it can result in a loss of trust and credibility. By introducing two-factor authentication you can help to provide a secure brand experience. This encourages strong ongoing relationships with customers.

How can Equilibrium help?

As Cyber Security experts with 20 years industry experience, we are best placed to offer advice about the most effective multi-factor authentication solution for your business. Cisco Duo Security is the only multi-factor authentication app which your business needs. Duo mobile is a user friendly and effective application which can seamlessly identify user identity by sending push notifications to mobile devices. This authentication method greatly reduces the risk of phishing and identity-based cyber-attacks. Cisco Duo is far more than just an authentication app. You can gain visibility into each device, enforce tailored policies to suit your business needs and ensure illegitimate users are not able to gain access to business-critical data.

Find out more about Cisco Duo

You can call our office on 0121 663 0055