In a world with increasing security threats and compromised data, we are always looking for better ways to secure our data. Large-scale cyber attacks are becoming more common each year and affect almost everybody due to the variety of companies being breached. Attacks on large corporations such as LinkedIn, Yahoo, and Marriott have resulted in millions of passwords being publicly released. Furthermore, we also need to defend against Phishing attacks, whereby fraudulent emails are used capture your credentials in order to access your accounts. As a result of these different attack methods, millions of people are getting hacked and having their important information stolen. With these increased risks, it has become obvious that a password is no longer enough security for your most vital accounts such as banking, credit cards, or email.
Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) provides an additional defense against these criminals by requiring a second piece of information in order to sign into your account. This is usually provided as a temporary unique code delivered to a device, such as your phone, or by using bio metric data, such as a fingerprint. Almost all security conscious web services provide some form of added security using 2FA, either through an app, or by sending a code via text message. For personal accounts, Google has created a widely supported tool, Google Authenticator, which can be used to store many services’ 2FA codes in a single app.
Knowing which services support 2FA and how to enable it can be very daunting. Luckily, for your personal accounts, there are two helpful services that can help with that. First, check if your favorite services support 2FA on twofactorauth.org. Once you have confirmed that it is supported, you can follow the step-by-step guides available on turnon2fa.com to enable it on your account. With those two services you should be able to enable 2FA on most of your personal accounts without much trouble.
For your business needs, 2FA can be more complex as you must account for servers, workstations, and applications that all may need to be secured. There are many applications that work in a similar method to the personal 2FA offerings but have varying costs and features. Rather than doing the research yourself, Yardstick Technologies has already done the investigation and testing required and found a product that fits our Yardstick Way, Duo Security. It is a full featured product that provides three different ways to provide 2FA on corporate devices and applications by using the Duo app, SMS texts, or phone calls. We use the app ourselves as a secure and convenient way to quickly authenticate; as soon as we sign into an account our phone will buzz with a simple “Accept” or “Deny” prompt to tap. Not only do we use this to secure our email and major applications, but we also use it to secure our administrator accounts on every client server. This added layer of security not only protects us but our clients as well.
Technology and security can be complex, but they don’t have to be, as there are great tools and companies to help make it easier to use. By implementing the easy-to-use 2FA options outlined above, you and your company will be better protected and you can rest easy. Next time there’s a data breach you won’t need to worry because you’ll be protected with Two-Factor Authentication!
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