The company email is often one of the primary communication channels with contractors and customers. The possibility of losing access to an email inbox containing all the necessary data and documents is a nightmare. Fortunately, there is an easy way to minimize the likelihood of your email being compromised while also improving the company’s data security – two-factor authentication.
In this article, we will explain this feature and why you should consider using it on all supported platforms.
What Is Two-Step Verification or Multi-Factor Authentication?
Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a feature that more and more websites are offering. Its purpose is to provide additional protection for your account against unauthorized login attempts. It is also known as two-factor, multi-factor, or u2f. In order to log in, the user must traditionally provide a password. Then, depending on the type of two-step verification chosen, the account holder must enter another code (e.g., which is sent via text message or by connecting a special security key). This security practice will not eliminate unauthorized login attempts, but it minimizes them and effectively makes it more difficult for unauthorized individuals to log into the users’ accounts.
Advantages of Two-Factor Authentication
Two-step verification has many advantages. First, it provides greater security and protection from unauthorized access to one’s account. It also protects against the negative consequences of malware. Contrary to appearances, hackers can steal email account passwords quite easily. All you have to do is click an inappropriate link in an email, download programs from unsafe websites, or simply use the same password on different sites.
A negative consequence of password hijacking is losing access to the account when the intruder simply changes the security method. This means you’d lose access to all documents, photos, contacts, and emails. Unauthorized individuals can also impersonate and harm businesses. Moreover, if someone intercepts a mailbox password, they can easily change passwords on other sites where you have accounts set up using that particular email address.
Various Forms of Two-Step Authorization
There are five basic forms of two-step authentication.
Security experts consider security keys as the most effective way to secure accounts against hacking. The key is a small device (similar to a flash drive) that must be plugged into the USB port of the computer (or other hardware). After entering the basic password for the profile, the user is prompted to connect the security key. Some, such as the YubiKey, can be connected via Bluetooth or NFC.
Confirmation from Google – When using a Google account, it is possible to configure a mobile device so that it notifies you when someone tries to log into your account. When someone logs into the profile, the user will receive a notification on the phone asking: “Are you trying to log in?”. Confirmation is required to access the account.
App Authenticator – This is an application that can be used to generate one-time codes for two-step verification – it works on PC, iOS, and Android mobile devices.
Backup Codes – These need to be generated and printed out in advance. This is a great solution when, for some reason, users can’t use other types of two-step verification.
With the SMS or Voice Call method, a verification code can be sent to a mobile device in the form of a text message or a voice call.
When Is It Worth Using Two-Factor Authentication?
Account passwords can be unreliable. Short ones are easy to guess, while long ones can prove difficult to remember. In turn, if they are written down somewhere, there is a risk that they will end up in someone else’s hands. For this reason, using a simple password supported by two-factor verification is safer.
When Is It a Good Idea to Use Multi-Component Authentication?
The best time to do this is whenever a particular service offers it, and you believe that the data stored in the account is valuable, and you simply can’t let it fall into the hands of third parties. Most often, work emails contain important messages from contractors, customer data, confidential information, or documents that could harm the organization’s interests if they would fall into the hands of unauthorized individuals.
Regardless of size, companies are vulnerable to complex cyber-attacks, including password theft. Drop the “it doesn’t affect me” attitude and consider adopting two-factor authentication right now.