Passwords are the traditional method of securing accounts. But most people don’t bother creating robust passwords for their accounts. According to Swoop, 73% of online accounts are protected by duplicate passwords. And 90% of passwords that users generate themselves are vulnerable to hacking. That’s why the majority of internet users face security threats daily, and data breaches became a regular occurrence.
That’s also the reason why large corporations and even smaller businesses have started implementing extra security measures to protect their data and networks. For example, nowadays, most companies create password strength requirements. Others also ask employees to use an iOS password manager (for example, this one) for password generation and safekeeping. Some even limit access to specific accounts to devices on the enterprise network. But one of the most popular methods of locking business accounts nowadays is the two-factor authentication.
What Is 2FA and Why You Need It
Two-factor authentication is a method of verifying a user’s identity to allow access to certain accounts. Many platforms and networks enable two-factor authentication. Users have to go through one extra login step to access their accounts or data. Even though it might sound like extra hassle, the way two-factor authentication works is pretty simple.
First, a user needs to log in with their regular credentials — username and password. Then, they need to verify their identity by entering a unique piece of code. They get that code as an email, a text message, or an app notification. The user can only access the account by submitting this code along with their credentials.
Most often, hackers can’t get the security codes if they don’t have the user’s device used for identity verification. It makes two-factor authentication a top layer of security. It prevents cybercriminals from accessing business accounts even if the employee fails to create a strong password.
Therefore, businesses need to raise awareness among their employees about login security. Employees should start implementing safety measures both at work and on their personal accounts.
How to Introduce 2FA to Your Businesses
The first step is to teach your employees the value of online security:
- warn them about the consequences they could deal with in case of a security attack
- train your employees to use a password manager to protect their credentials
- make it a policy to have two-factor authentication enabled
The next step is choosing which method of two-factor authentication is most convenient to integrate. There are several approaches to implementing 2FA.
The most popular method of two-factor authentication is via SMS. Using this 2FA system, users receive a unique numerical code as a text message. This 2FA system is easy to put in place, and it is one of the most cost-effective solutions on the list.
Next up is the email verification method. It doesn’t require one more device like SMS verification. Even though email verification is more accessible and straightforward, it is also less secure. After all, email accounts are prone to cybersecurity attacks too. But, in the end, this method is also cost-effective and easy to adopt.
Voice call verification is one of the least popular types of 2FA. But some enterprises still use it. Of course, only if the employees don’t mind the extra effort. The benefit of voice call verification is that it doesn’t need a data connection. But third-party can intercept calls, and that’s a significant disadvantage to consider.
Some enterprises produce hardware tokens and give to their employees for logins and identity verification purposes. These standalone solutions seem very advanced and professional. But they are also expensive. Plus, there’s always the risk of employees losing or misplacing the devices.
Last but not least, this method of 2FA doesn’t need any additional devices. Employees only need to install an application on their smartphone. Then they can use it to verify their identity when logging into the business accounts. Apps of this kind are easy to use. But if you choose to use one, don’t forget to raise awareness about the importance of maintaining smartphone security.
Get Started with 2FA
Nowadays, counting on passwords alone is not enough. And that’s where two-factor authentication comes into play. It protects your devices and network from unauthorized access and security threats. Choose one of the 2FA methods that work best for your corporate environment and your employees. But keep in mind that implementing 2FA doesn’t mean you’re all set security-wise. Make sure to combine two-factor authentication with other security measures. Use a password manager, scan devices for malware and viruses, and update the software to get the latest security patches.