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October 24, 2017

Two-Factor Authentication: A Critical Cybersecurity Strategy You Cannot Ignore

If there is one thing we cannot stress enough here at Apex Technology Services, it’s the importance of making sure all of your end users’ accounts are protected with strong passwords and, if possible, two-factor authentication.

Two-factor authentication — sometimes referred to as multifactor or two-step verification —involves using multiple security layers to protect user accounts. For instance, a password and username-combination could be protected with biometrics (like fingerprint or voice scanners), personal identification numbers (PINS) or unique security questions.

The hope when using two-factor authentication is that by adding an extra security layer, a hacker will have a much harder time breaking into an account.

Up until recently, most organizations were allowing their employees to choose whether they wanted to use two-factor authentication. But now, with fears of hacking at an all-time high, many organizations are choosing to make two-factor authentication mandatory. The University of Pennsylvania, for instance, has announced plans to require all staff members to use two-step verification for website logins. Interestingly, students do not have to enroll in two-step verification which is questionable. Moving forward, staff members will have to log in with a username and password combination, and then verify their identity using a pre-registered device.

Bank of America, it should be noted, also made headlines this week when the company announced plans to integrate fingerprint-based two-factor authentication into its online banking system. This technology will be available to customers starting in 2018.

 As explained in a recent article, Deloitte may have prevented a major data breach if its accounts had been protected with two-factor authentication. So this is something every business should strongly consider moving forward.

Apex Technology Services, premier computer consultants serving Greater New York City and beyond, can help your organization set up two-factor authentication. To learn more about Apex, click here.

Here are some of the areas all organizations looking to promote a cybersecurity culture need to focus on:

1.    Cybersecurity training must be done regularly.

2.    Auditing and documentation must be performed regularly to ensure systems are secure.

3.    Anomaly detection should be running constantly to detect threats as they emerge.

4.    Penetration testing shows if systems can easily be reached from the outside. Here is a case where this test might have saved two company’s’ reputations from being destroyed.

5.    Network forensics for when a breach eventually occurs. The bad guys always seem to get in eventually.

6.    An action plan to follow when a breach does occur. Once it happens, few will have the clear heads needed to “wing it” correctly. Equifax botched it’s response in what is being called a PR catastrophe.

To ensure your organization is safe – even if you have internal IT, hire an experienced MSP or MSSP like Apex Technology Services.

Apex Technology Services
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