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The days of a password alone being enough to protect your account privacy are long gone.
Two-factor authentication (2FA) is one of the best ways to protect your accounts. 2FA adds a second step to your usual log-in process.
Once you enter your username and password, you take one additional action depending on the type of 2FA you use. It could be entering a code sent as a text message or accepting a prompt on your smartphone. All in all, it’s just a few extra seconds.
Despite the risks, many employees are against using 2FA.
We think that’s rather ridiculous. Getting annoyed because you have to find your phone and tap on a prompt every time you log into your accounts? It doesn’t get any more #firstworldproblems than that.
Here at Elevity, we recently enabled 2FA for one of the applications we use every day. Sure, there were a few good-natured groans and eye rolls when it was announced, but we all know how important it is to practice what we preach to our clients – that 2FA adds another vital layer of protection against hackers and should be used whenever possible.
Your employees need to take an active role in protecting themselves and their company. Getting people on board with using 2FA may take a little education and persuasion, but it’s absolutely worth the effort.
It protects your accounts from all sorts of damaging attacks.
Credential stuffing or brute-force attacks hijack people’s online accounts in bulk. Dunkin’ Donuts, Warby Parker, GitHub, AdGuard, the State Department, and even Apple iCloud accounts have all fallen victim to credential-stuffing attacks in recent years. Only two-factor accounts are protected from these automated login attacks.
Recent research by Google showed that 2FA using an SMS code blocked 100% of automated attacks, 96% of bulk phishing attacks, and 76% of direct, targeted attacks – like those made by hired hackers.
2FA using an on-device prompt gave even stronger protection, blocking 100% of automated attacks, 99% of bulk phishing attacks, and 90% of targeted attacks.
Two-factor also protects you from phishing emails. Say someone sends you a suspicious email that tries to trick you into logging in with your Google or Facebook credential to a fake site. You can tell if the site is fake or legitimate because only the legitimate site will send you a working two-factor code.
Bottom line: being secure isn’t easy. The bad guys are counting on you to be lazy. Implementing 2FA means it takes a little longer to login, but it’s worth it in the long run to avoid losing your data, identity, or money.
Although 2FA can prevent hackers from logging into accounts as you, it’s not a cybersecurity catch-all. Cybercriminals can still breach network data using other vectors and entry points. That’s why 2FA should be a component in a larger cybersecurity strategy.
We recommend a layered approach that uses a variety of tools and resources working together to provide maximum protection for your devices, data, and networks.
You can delve into more details with these free resources:
Cybersecurity 101: 2FA can Save You from Hackers (Tech Crunch)
More Companies Don’t Rely on Passwords Alone Anymore (Dark Reading)