Performance Improvement

July 13, 2021

Two factor Authentication: Why It’s Important to You

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Cyber-attacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated, targeted, and prevalent. A simple username and password are no longer adequate in keeping your online data protected since 90% of passwords can be cracked in less than six hours. This is why two-factor authentication (2FA) is becoming commonplace as an extra level of security to make sure the right person (you and you only) can access your online accounts. Fortunately, Office 365 two factor authentication is available to protect its users. It is highly recommended you leverage this added layer of security so hackers can’t access and misuse your mailbox identity. In today’s topic, we’ll be discussing why 2FA is important for not only Office 365 but all your online accounts, from your work email down to your Facebook account, and other items that are important to you.

What Is Two-Factor Authentication?

The adoption of 2FA is growing. In 2017, a mere 28% of respondents were using 2FA compared to 53% in 2019. 2FA is the standard among the big tech companies, like Facebook, Amazon, and Apple, to help keep personal information and data secure. In a nutshell, 2FA is an added security measure so if someone, maliciously or not, has your username and password, still can’t access your account. 2FA requires the user to verify their identity with a randomized six-digit number that is sent to a token, a phone or email address, or sometimes your voice or fingerprint can be used. Once this six-digit code is sent, the user logs into the account with a username and password, as well as this code. Essentially, 2FA restricts anyone without this six-digit number or your fingerprint/voice from accessing your account. Think of 2FA as having a guard dog at your house. A robber can kick down your front door or break into a window, but they’ll also have to get past the guard dog to get inside your house.

It’s easy to give out your username and password to someone without thinking about the possible consequences or for a scammer to access sensitive information through your computer using a variety of malicious tactics. That’s why it’s becoming more and more critical to use 2FA with all your online accounts. The damage that can occur from serious theft, such as identity or money theft, can be unreconcilable and severe.

Why It Should Be Enabled in Your Business

So, should only your most important online accounts, like banking or financial accounts, have 2FA? Not exactly. While it’s critical to use 2FA for all your online accounts, your top priority should be email. . Without using 2FA, The statistics show it’s remarkably easy for a hacker to gain access to your inbox by figuring out the password. Once they get in, they own your email identity. Hackers can make it nearly impossible for an untrained user to detect they have access to their email. Now that they have access, they can impersonate you to other businesses and you would be none the wiser. This is the key reason you should enable Office 365 two factor authentication.

The bad guys count on you being careless and not making protecting your business a priority. All companies that use a cloud service or have staff that log in on a virtual network (think work-from-home office environment) should have 2FA set up and rolled out across their organization. Although setting up Office 365 two factor authentication takes a bit of extra time on the IT side of things, it’s relatively easy to use by the end-user once set up, and it’s most definitely worth it in the long run. The size and needs of your business depend on the type of 2FA software. The Office 365 product has an easy-to-use, downloadable, and trusted Microsoft Authenticator App already available for use with it. This app is literally at your fingertips and is ready for use whenever you are. All you need to do is download the app and configure it with your software. This saves you time and thought in researching the numerous 2FA options that are out there, and then deciding what one is the right fit for you and your company.

Extra Benefits of Two Factor Authentication

2FA protects your business, but do you know it goes beyond that to also provide more flexibility and cost-savings, thereby increasing your ROI? Your business is more efficient and offers more flexibility because your staff are protected wherever they work, at the office, at their home, or on the road. Cost-savings are also found through the end users resetting their forgotten passwords themselves as opposed to calling the IT Helpdesk to get them to reset their password. Forrester Research says the average helpdesk labor cost for a password reset or unlock ranges from $40-50 per person. These costs can quickly add up and are better utilized elsewhere in your company.

2FA is just one way to help keep your business secure and out of the hands of fraudsters. There are other things you can do as a business to protect yourself, like running an effective cybersecurity awareness training program. 2FA is a great and simple first step though. To ensure a successful and properly configured set up your Office 365 two factor authentication, contact a knowledgeable and trusted managed services partner, like BT Partners, to assist you.

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