Two-Factor Authentication: Heightening Security for Your Business

Cybersecurity has become increasingly important for your business over the last few years. More than half of US businesses report being hacked in the last year. Hackers can end up with access to sensitive data, take down your website, or hold your vital data hostage – and it's up to you to keep them out as much as possible. If you're looking for a strategy that can help confirm your identity and keep your accounts – all of them – more secure, try turning to two-factor authentication to protect your business.

What is Two-Factor Authentication?

Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security between your business and a potential hacker. With two-factor authentication, instead of giving access with just a username and password, the program requires users to provide an additional proof of their identity – usually by sending a text to a mobile phone number. This simple method helps protect access to sensitive information and ensures that the people who do get that access have permission to see the data they're seeing.

Two-factor authentication has become increasingly common even on the platforms we now use every day. Facebook confirms the identity of its users through access to email or a phone. Most email systems can confirm users with a text. Is your business taking advantage of this simple strategy to confirm its users?

Why Use Two-Factor Authentication?

Two-factor authentication may, at first glance, seem like little more than an additional step in the login process-and one that could potentially frustrate your customers. In reality, however, two-factor authentication offers a number of advantages.

1. Passwords Alone Often Fail

65% of people use the same password for every online system they use, from their email and social media to their bank account. Worse, 90% of work passwords can be cracked in as little as six hours – which is no time at all for a hacker with sophisticated software in use. Unfortunately, passwords simply do not provide the security most people need in order to protect their accounts and their private information.

2. Provide Peace of Mind

A data breach can cost both your company and your customers thousands of dollars – not to mention lost time and your lost reputation. With two-factor authentication, on the other hand, you get peace of mind that your customers are better protected. With that peace of mind, both you and your customers can have more confidence in the data you collect.

3. Add Physical Protection

In order to access private information from your company, if you have two-factor authentication enabled, hackers must access the physical component used to establish security. For example, they might need to get their hands on a cell phone – which most people don't leave sitting around for them to grab. This can make it harder for hackers to access confidential data.

4. Make Your Company a Less Attractive Target

When you use two-factor authentication, you add extra effort to the process of hacking your business. In many cases, this can make hackers decide not to bother with you: it's too  much trouble to hack your business when there are other, easier targets available. As a result, you may find that two-factor authentication reduces not only the potential that a hacker will make it through your security, but the odds that, out of their choices, they will choose to target you.

Are you ready to implement two-factor authentication for your business? Remember, no business is too big or too small for a hacker to bother with – and in fact, small businesses have become increasingly appealing targets as larger businesses have better layers of security in place. Protecting your business is critical, and two-factor authentication along with a strong patch management strategy can help.

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