Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Why you need to learn two-factor authentication

How much protection do you think passwords provide right now to your company's Web sites, mobile devices and desktop computers? The right answer? Probably not much. Cyber criminals have perfected the art of cracking passwords. And all too often, employees rely on passwords that are easy to guess. This leaves your business vulnerable to cyber attacks. Luckily, there is a solution: two-factor authentication. And, according to a recent story by Biztech Magazine, it's the easiest way to immediately boost your company's ability to guard itself from cyber crimes.

Two steps are better than one

As the name suggests, two-factor authentication requires users to take two different steps to log onto a Web site or device. Usually, people will have to still use a password but will also have to rely on a second device to get into their computers or important Web sites. For illustration, after putting in a password, an employee might have to swipe a smart card, insert a token or use a biometric identifier to continue. This two-step process immediately upgrades a company's online security, according to the Biztech story.

Getting started

Once you decide to implement two-factor authentication, you'll want to make a plan to ensure that the transition is an easy one for your staff. And, as Biztech Magazine says, this begins with selecting the most appropriate second factor. For instance, tokens might work well if the majority of your employees work in a central location. But if your business uses workers that are spread across the country, tokens are probably not the best choice. Same for smart cards: These cards generally don't work with smartphones. If your employees rely on their smartphones to do business, smart cards might be the wrong choice for a second factor.

Take it slowly

Another factor to proficiently launching two-factor authentication? You'll want to take your time. Provide staff members with a window of time to read about the system and ask questions. This will increase the odds that your employees will be on board with the transformation. If you launch the system without providing the proper education, you’ll quite possibly alienate and aggravate your workers.

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