Importance of Two-Factor Authentication And Securing Passwords

Two-Factor Authentication Importance - FT,WayneIT

In this digital world where the cyberattacks are recurring, it is essential to add an extra layer of security to your business. The two-factor authentication – the standard method of authentication that helps in protecting your business from cyber criminals. Though the hacker is able to crack the login credentials, they won’t be able to access your accounts if you have implemented 2FA in the right way and in the right combination.

43% of data breaches involved small businesses

The cyber security experts at Fort Wayne IT are here to protect your business from cyber attacks. In this article, we will be sharing information about two-factor authentication and its working on providing better security for your business. We are also sharing some information about LastPass, a password manager. And how to implement 2FA using LastPass.

What is Two-Factor Authentication?

80% of the security breaches can be prevented by 2FA

Two-factor authentication is a standard security measure that strengthens access by requiring two authentication factors to verify your digital identity.

There are three types of two-factor authentication factors,

  • Additional login credentials that only the account owner knows. This is something you know – it could be security questions, a passphrase, PIN or a geometrical shape to unlock.
  • The account holder’s device would receive an additional login credential. This is something you have – it could a 6-digit code generated by any authenticator application or a code received through text message.
  • Biometric login credentials that are unique to the account holder. This is something you are – it could be retina scans, fingerprints, facial recognition, voice recognition and more similar biometric credentials.

Importance of Two-Factor Authentication

For the enhancement of cybersecurity, for accessing accounts and other online services, strong authentication is essential. As the usernames and passwords are less protective, they are easily hacked and tried across different accounts.

62 percent of breaches not involving an error, misuse or physical action involved the use of stolen credentials

The password-only protection is vulnerable to sophisticated cyberattacks, and hence it is necessary to add an extra layer of security, protecting your business from hackers. Implementing 2FA with a combination of authentication factors would help in verifying the digital identity before providing access to your accounts.

How Does Authentication Work?

The two-factor authentication works in a combination of any two from the below three methods,

Text messages This is a well-organized form of two-factor authentication. The text message 2FA sends a login code to the registered number of the account to validate the user’s identity. All you need here is a mobile device and connection to a wireless network. Here, the user enters the code into the application they are authenticating.

Personnel account uses this common security protocol for authentication. When companies and organizations implement this authentication, they must be cautious unless the employees have dedicated phone lines.

A 2019 report from Microsoft concluded that 2FA works, blocking 99.9% of automated attacks.

Authentication Application – In this method, the authentication application generates a code to the registered mobile number. The user must enter the code to gain access to the account. This method just requires an internet connection to access the account. Some well-known authenticators are Google authenticator, LastPass, Authy, Duo Security and more.

Biometric Authentication – This method would require something unique from the user(physical) to gain access to the account. The common verification methods used here are scanning the retina using a computer’s camera, use of fingerprints in your digital devices. Biometric authentication is quite secure as it would not compromise your company’s security and privacy.

How Secure is Two-Factor Authentication?

Two-factor authentication is an added security layer. Enabling this layer will protect your accounts from threats. Before the implementation of the two-factor authentication, it is good to evaluate it.

  • Text messages 2FA can become a flaw, when the user switches either phone number or service provider. Portability of the mobile number is considered to be an opening for hackers to access your accounts.
  • The authentication applications are mostly exposed to device theft when the device left unattended or losing the device would leave your accounts at risk.
  • It is a belief that biometric authentication is a foolproof method. Here, the fingerprints and retina scans are stored as digital responses. This can create chances for hackers to impersonate your accounts even when this authentication is enabled.

Hence, every method has its own advantages and disadvantages, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t useful. Every aspect implemented in the right way can bring in a lot of benefits to your business. Though the two-factor authentication has minute flaws in it, implementing it in the right way can secure your business from cyber attacks and other threats.

How to Securely Store Passwords - FT,WayneIT

What is LastPass

LastPass is the best way to manage passwords. LastPass allows uses to save items and further manage them whenever necessary. It protects end users from data breaches and phishing attacks with complete transparency and control to IT.

  • LastPass is a safe and encryption location to save your passwords, files and more
  • The built-in generator tool helps in creating secure passwords
  • Automatically monitors and detects information about the compromised items
  • The security dashboard keeps track of the safety of your accounts

How to Enable Two-Factor Authentication With LastPass?

In this section, we will get to know the process in setting up the 2FA using LastPass from the below video,

LastPass for Business Use

LastPass for business can help in securing the employees’ login credentials by enabling two-factor authentication before accessing the accounts or any third-party websites. The endpoints can be equipped with additional protection using the Advanced MFA feature from the LastPass. The platform also offers enterprise level security to workstations, VPNs, identity providers and more.

The two-factor authentication from LastPass is a smarter way to authenticate as it goes beyond password hygiene. Henceforth, it leverages the biometric and contextual factors for providing a better protection for your business with simplified employee login experience. LastPass also allows users to create and apply customized authentication factors to ensure all-round security at both user and group level. With streamlined user authentication, it also ensures that the right person accesses the right data at the right time.

Some Best Two-Factor Authentication Practices

As the corporate level security breaches are increasing, protecting your account just with login credentials is not advisable. It has also created situations, where the hackers can easily get access to your accounts.

In addition to, text messages, authentication applications and biometric authentication ensure to follow the below process for securing your business in a better way,

  • Avoid using personal phone numbers for text messages 2FA. As there are chances that a fraudster can impersonate and get access to your personal information.
  • Replace phone numbers with Google voice
  • Never use email-based account resets, as it may be convenient for hackers to bypass the 2FA procedures
  • Try to use combinations of authentication methods. Using more than one 2FA method will keep your accounts more secure

Secure Your Business with Two-Factor Authentication

The Two-factor authentication method is utilized across industries that focuses on user authentication and device trust beyond passwords and usernames. Stolen, reused passwords are considered to be the leading cause of security breaches as unfortunately most of the business rely on only password-based protection. It is time to go for two-factor authentication to do business with improved security.

Are you looking for expert guidance on two-factor authentication and its implementation? Visit our website, FortWayne IT Support. We can help you with the best solutions by understanding your needs. Also, we handle Managed I.T, Phone, Process Automation and more. Like us on Facebook and get more tips for your business.

Author: Patrycja Thomas

Fortune 500 sales and marketing veteran dedicated to helping small businesses change the world with technology.