2-Factor Authentication for Business Online Account Protection

2-factor authorization

You go to a lot of trouble to protect the business you worked hard to establish and grow. Maybe you’ve installed an electronic security system, conducted background checks on your employees, employed security guards, or even have guard dogs on the premises.

But what about protecting your company’s online accounts from cyber criminals? More than likely you have business and personal online accounts with banks, insurance companies, vendors, credit cards, and email providers. Sure, you have passwords for these accounts, but passwords are easy to crack and offer minimal protection.  If you haven’t already, now is the time to incorporate 2-factor authentication.

An extra step toward extra protection

In 2013, 43% of companies had data breaches in which hackers stole information. 2-factor, or 2-step verification puts up a second barricade between your password and your account. The process requires something you have (such as a credit card or phone) and something you know (maybe a PIN, site key, or specific answer) and/or something you are (fingerprint, retina recognition or other biometric information).

You already use this process in many everyday tasks. When you swipe your credit card sometimes you’re asked to input your zip code. Many tablet and mobile phone users require fingerprint recognition or a passcode in order to use the device. These added steps prove that you actually have the credentials to access that account and aren’t a robot or thief. Taking that extra step might seem like an inconvenience… until you experience having your credit card or bank account broken into or social security number stolen.

Protecting all your accounts

Most major email providers offer 2FA, so if you aren’t using it, check into it. Banks also typically offer free 2FA. Your social media and cloud storage accounts should also be doubly protected.  To see which of your online accounts support 2FA, search the Two Factor Authority list.

Don’t confuse computer security software with online account security. Cyber insurance will help you recover your losses. But once your personal information such as social security number, photos, address book and medical information are stolen, you can’t get that back. Frequent changing of passwords and incorporating 2-step verification wherever you can are two small steps you can take to stay one step ahead of cyber criminals.

Source: Kristen Jerome. “Rethink Your Resolutions,” Accounting News You Can Use. 29 Jan. 2016.

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