Before discussing what a 2FA or two-factor authentication is, let us first take into account why it is crucial to do all the things you can to make sure that your online account is secure including securing your passwords. With so much of your life happening on laptops and mobile devices, it is not a surprise that digital accounts have started to become an excellent magnet for various criminals.
There have been malicious attacks against companies, governments, as well as individuals. But unfortunately, there are no indications that data breaches, hacks, as well as other types of cybercrime are decreasing. Fortunately, it is quite easy for companies to add another level of protection to user accounts through 2FA or two factor authentication.
In recent years, there has been a substantial rise in the number of websites that are losing the confidential data of their clients. And with data security breaches become more sophisticated, firms are finding that their old security systems are no match for the complex attacks and threats these days. In some instances, it’s just because of a simple human error. And it is not only user trust that could be damaged. All kinds of organizations including startups, non-profits, small businesses, and global companies could face severe reputation and financial loss.
For the clients, the effects of a targeted identity theft or hack could be very devastating. Stolen information are utilized to get fake credit cards and are then used for shopping sprees, which could damage the credit rating of the victim. It will just take one night to drain cryptocurrency accounts and even an entire bank. Apps and online applications require tighter security. And if possible, consumers must have a habit of protecting themselves with something that is way stronger than just a simple password and that’s where two factor authentication comes in.
Passwords and Its Bad History
Passwords have become vulnerable. Even if there are several alternatives out there, user names as well as passwords continue to be the most commonly used type of user authentication. Generally speaking, passwords must be something that only you know and should be hard for someone else to guess. And even though passwords are better than having no protection, they are not foolproof.
First of all, humans have terrible memories and tend to have several accounts. Some consumers try their best to make it harder for online attackers by coming up with more complicated passwords as well as passphrases. However, with the many different data breaches happening, a lot of people end up giving up and falling back to using common and weak passwords across different accounts.
2FA is The Best Option
Two factor authentication is an additional layer of security used to ensure that those who are trying to get access to an online account are exactly who they say they are. First of all, a user will key in their username and then their password. After that, they still won’t get access to the information they need, because they need to provide another important information. The second factor can come from categories like something you know, something you have or something you are.
Many people are hearing about news regarding a data breach. Consumers are now wondering how this is always happening. It would appear like companies must be more serious about their data security. Needless to say that a data breach can cost millions and can tarnish the reputation of the company involved.
Consumers may recall that Target was breached back in 2013. Shoppers became worried about shopping at the retail giant. Now, the data breach has cost over $90 million and nothing can help them measure the damage to their reputation. Just like other stores, Target stores are suffering from the trend wherein consumers prefer to shop online. A lot of surveys confirm that shoppers are reluctant to purchase at smaller online stores. The general belief is that bigger stores have better cybersecurity.
This theory was questioned when JP Morgan Chase, the largest banker in the nation, lost the personal information, addresses, and names of 76 million customers. Data breaches as such will diminish public trust and cause shoppers to stop shopping online even more.
So how could you prevent this from happening to your business?
Restrict Data Access
In the past, every employee can access all their computer files. These days, firms are starting to learn the hard way, to restrict access to their more important data. After all, there is no reason for an employee who work in the mailroom to access accounting documents. If you limit those who can view certain data, you will narrow down the pool of people who may click on harmful links accidentally. As companies move forward, you should expect to see all of the records to be partitioned off so that just those who distinctly need access can access it. This is only one of those common sense methods that firms need to do.
Third Party Vendors Should Follow
Companies work with different third party vendors. It’s more crucial to know who these individuals are. Firms could even open themselves to legal cases by letting strangers to get into their premises. What if the person who delivers the office supplies just got out of jail? You should consider this carefully. Apart from that, make sure to restrict the kinds of documents that vendors can view.
Perform Employee Security Awareness Training
According to the latest surveys, employees are considered to be the weakest links in the chain of data security. Even with training, staff open suspicious emails on a daily basis that have the possibility to download viruses. Among the mistakes that employees make is believing that one training class about cybersecurity is enough. In case you are serious about protecting your crucial data, you should schedule regular training every month or quarter.
Update Software On A Regular Basis
Cybersecurity experts suggest to keep all application software as well as operating systems are updated on a regular basis. Install all of the patches when possible. Your network will be vulnerable if the programs are not regularly updated and patched.
Create A Cybersecurity Breach Response Plan
Your business must have an in-depth cybersecurity breach preparedness plan because it will allow both the employer and employees to know the possible damages that may happen.
A data breach is more than just a temporary terror. It could change your life significantly. Individuals, governments, and businesses alike could experience major complications from having their data exposed. If you are online or offline, hackers can still get to you through text messages, Bluetooth, internet, and other online devices that you are using.
If you don’t pay attention to detail, a minor vulnerability could easily lead to a significant data breach. Because many people don’t know how common these modern threats are, they do not pay that much attention to it. Read on if you want to learn more.
A data breach will expose protected, sensitive, and confidential data to unauthorized individuals. The files affected by a data breach are shared and/or viewed without the owner’s permission.
Anybody could be at risk of a data breach from high level enterprises to individuals to governments. Aside from that, anybody could put others at risk when they are not protected.
Generally speaking, data breaches happen because of weaknesses in the user’s behaviour and technology. As our mobile devices and computers have more connective issues, there are many places where data will slip through. New technologies are being developed faster than they can be protected. Devices within the IoT sector provide proof that people are valuing convenience more than data security. A lot of smart home products have many flaws such as lack of encryption and hackers are making the most out of it.
However, even when the backend technology has been set up appropriately, there are users that have poor digital habits. All it needs is a single individual to compromise a network or website. Without a comprehensive cybersecurity plan in place at both the enterprise and user levels, you’re sure to be at risk. Protect others and yourself by knowing and understanding how data breaches take place.
How does a data breach happen?
It’s not always true that a data breach is caused by an outside hacker. There are many reasons why a data breach takes place. It could just easily be due to a basic oversight by someone or flaws in the infrastructure of a system.
It can be due to an accidental insider who could be an employee who is using the computer of a co-worker and reading their files without permission or proper authorization. No information is shared and the access is unintentional. However, the data is still considered as breached because it was viewed without authorization.
Another cause is a malicious insider who intentionally accesses or/and shares the data with the intention of causing harm to a company or individual. The malicious insider may be authorized to use the information but has a bad intention for the use of the information.
Stolen or lost devices is another way a data breach can happen. An unlocked or unencrypted external hardrive or laptop or anything that has sensitive information is lost or missing.
Malicious outside criminals are hackers who are using different kinds of attack vectors to get information from a person or individual.