What is Two Factor Authentication and Why Should I Use It?September 21, 2021
Two factor authentication is an increasingly popular way to add an extra layer of security to accounts. While your network might already have ample security, every layer you add is another hoop hackers have to get through to reach your company's data. Although not everyone will love having to go through an extra step to access their account, it's a simple and highly effective cybersecurity measure that is worth taking.
What is Two Factor Authentication?
Two factor authentication, or 2FA, is exactly what it sounds like. It is a different, added method used to authenticate an account. Typically, you need a username and password to access an account. With 2FA, another method is added, such as a text sent to the user's phone, a physical device, a fingerprint, or any other option that requires a user's direct interaction.
For two factor authentication to be effective, the second method needs to involve something that's unique to the user. A text message containing a security code is one of the more commonly used options. In order for a hacker to gain access to an account, they would first need the username and password; however, even if they could provide that, they would still also need physical access to the user's phone to actually get access to the account.
Of course, for this method to be effective, it requires that your phone or device is always “locked” with a secure password when it's not being actively used. That ensures that only you would be able to access that text message.
When Should You Use 2FA?
Sadly, employees don't always choose the strongest passwords. It's one of the reasons two factor authentication is often a strong recommendation among data security solutions providers.
Any time you have an account that accesses sensitive data, two factor authentication should be used. Every layer of security makes the data harder to access, making it more likely that it will make a hacker give up.
Adding an extra layer to the authentication process also offers a proactive solution to poor passwords and phishing attacks. This is because even if hackers get access to the login details, they still can't log in without the second method. Also, when an employee gets notified to provide the second method, they'll know something is wrong.
Proactively Avoiding Breaches
Two factor authentication is just one of many proactive approaches to preventing data breaches. An IT services provider can provide additional data security management services to protect your system 24/7.
Some of the main services include:
- End-to-end protection
- This includes everything from configuring security tools to protecting employees from phishing emails.
- 24/7 system monitoring
- Hackers never stop trying to breach networks, so an IT services provider must continuously monitor for vulnerabilities. This monitoring can include regular penetration and vulnerability testing.
- Keeping systems updated
- Obsolete hardware, software, and configurations leave your business vulnerable to attack. A data security management provider can evaluate your technology and provide guidance on how to create a more secure IT infrastructure.
Implementing new technology
- This service helps you implement newer technologies that make you more efficient and keep your data safer.
Creating business continuity and disaster recovery plans
- Should the worst happen, a recovery plan minimizes any potential damage and ensures that you're prepared to bounce back quickly.
- Backup strategies to protect against everything from simple human error to ransomware attacks are also typically part of these plans.
Regular audits for compliance
- Regulations are designed to keep your data safer. A provider can perform audits to ensure your systems are fully compliant.
Providing as-needed support
- Ignoring issues that pop up could leave your systems at risk. Getting IT support early ensures these issues get nipped in the bud before they cause major problems.
Choosing the right provider is your first step toward a proactive approach to cybersecurity. At GSDSolutions, our data security solutions take a proactive approach to reduce your risks, match technologies and solutions to your business goals, and prevent breaches and unauthorized access. We'll work with you, starting with an initial assessment, provide recommendations, and deploy new solutions. We’ll also provide you with on-going re-evaluations to ensure you are continuously protected from threats and breaches.
Give our team at GSDSolutions IT Services a call at (650) 282-7695, or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about our services and how we can help you put a robust data security management plan in place to keep your business secure.
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