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2FA Protects Against Breaches From Weak Passwords & Usernames

Employees who do not update usernames and passwords create ransomware attack risks. But a determined 2FA cybersecurity strategy adds a layer of protection.  

As much as industry leaders press employees to change up usernames and passwords regularly, many remain static for years. Making matters worse, hackers can skim social media and professional platforms for clues to leveraging these minimal safeguards. And it’s not that uncommon for someone to use their birthday, name of a loved one, or…wait for it…the word “Password.”

In a world where hackers work tirelessly to deploy ransomware and breach systems from another continent, business networks are more likely to look like low-hanging fruit than entrepreneurs and CEOs, among others realise.

“Attacks have become so common that it’s no longer a question of if an organisation will be attacked, but rather when and to what extent. As ransomware threats increase and become more complex, they are often devastating to the businesses they attack,” according to a Forbes report. “With the average ransom payment more than doubling from $41,198 to $84,116 within the past year, it’s critical that organisations harden their defence… The importance of protecting your business cannot be overstated.”

That being said, it may be time that organisations adopt two-factor authentication, commonly called 2FA, and rest easier knowing your operation enjoys a much-needed layer of security.

How Does 2FA Work?

It’s essential to understand that 2FA is not a specific application or method. More accurately, 2FA involves a cybersecurity “approach” tailored to deliver enhanced protection against unauthorized access. Although a wide range of techniques are available, 2FA can be broken down into three commonly employed ways of integrating 2FA.

  • Adding login steps such as answering a security question or PIN only the user knows.
  • Sending the account-holder a security code to a secondary device such as a cellphone, email, or tablet app.
  • Lastly, biometric safeguards such as thumbprints or retina scans may be employed. Fingerprints are already used in standard cellphones.

The process is relatively straightforward. An employee begins the login process by entering their username and password. They are prompted to answer security questions, put their finger on the screen, or go to a secondary device and retrieve a code. After completing this second layer of security, the user gains access to the business network. While the process seems simple, cybercriminals would require the second layer of authentication to breach a system. That creates a substantial logistical hurdle.

What Are The Benefits Of 2FA?

Although decision-makers may worry about budgeting for seemingly high-tech cybersecurity, 2FA ranks among the more cost-effective solutions. This tends to be particularly true when factoring in the cost of a ransomware hijack, work stoppage, and the potentially irreversible damage to an organisation’s reputation. Along with not requiring a significant upfront investment, 2FA delivers the following benefits.

  • Determined Cybersecurity: A hacker would need to possess a secondary device or know the answers to personal questions to get through 2FA protocols.
  • Remote Confidence: Businesses can add team members to Cloud-based platforms and augment work-from-home and fieldwork capabilities knowing they have an added level of cybersecurity.
  • Prevent Identity Theft: An online criminal’s pathway to a ransomware hack often involves uncovering usernames and passwords. Those are rendered fruitless when 2FA strategies are employed.

“Plain and simply, brute-force attacks are the primary choice for hackers because it works, we’re seeing that there are an abundance of accounts that have way too many insecure and weak passwords – making it too easy for hackers to bypass them,” cybersecurity researcher Jarno Niemela stated in a ZDNet post about ransomware.

Steadfast Solutions delivers managed IT services and cybersecurity enhancements such as 2FA throughout Melbourne, Brisbane, and Perth. If you are a business leader who would like to rest easy knowing your network has top-tier cybersecurity, contact Steadfast Solutions.

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