You get a call in the middle of the night. An intruder broke into your office, triggering the security system. Police stop the intruder before he can run off with anything of yours. Your investment in a security system paid off.
As a business owner, you want to protect your business any way you can. That is why you have a security system to protect you from physical break-ins. But what about virtual break-ins? Can you protect your business from an online intruder? The answer is yes, with two-factor authentication (2FA).
What Is Two-Factor Authentication? (In Terms Everyone Can Understand)
Two-factor authentication works a lot like your security system at your office. Every day you unlock your office door with a key to let yourself in. You then walk immediately over the security panel and put a code in to disarm the security system. Let’s apply this same process to log into your online payroll service.
- You go you your payroll service website, like walking up to the door of your office.
- You log in with your username and password with it being accepted, like putting in the key to your office door and unlocking it.
- You then have to prove it is you because anyone could have your username and password to your payroll service’s website. Just like anyone could have your office key or the ability to bypass your door lock.
- The two-factor authentication system of the payroll service website triggers requiring you to prove yourself as you would putting in a unique code in your security system.
- If you can’t prove it is you, then you can’t log in to access the service. Just like if you put the wrong code into the security system, it will set the alarm off. However, the 2FA system stops you from accessing the service, whereas the security system only notifies the police.
- If you, or someone else, fail to prove yourself, then you are notified, Just like when the police call you after the alarm is triggered.
- If you can prove it is you, then you have access, like disarming your security system.
What Are Some Forms Of Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)?
You probably have been using a form of two-factor authentication already. Some examples of 2FA are:
- Answering a secret question only you would know
- Getting a text message with a code from the service
- Receiving a phone call with the code from the service
- Using an authentication app that produces a code on your phone
- Using a device, like a key fob, that generates a code every 30 seconds or more
Why Is Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) important For Protecting Your Business?
Usernames and passwords are not strong enough to prevent hackers from getting into your systems. They can easily hold the key to your business, meaning your username and password, and you not know it. I am not saying a username with a strong password isn’t a good start to protecting your business. Two-factor authentication boosts your security and helps prevent a virtual intruder from taking your business away from you just like a security system prevents someone from breaking into your office.
How Do You Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)?
Most online services have 2FA capabilities now. You can easily follow the instructions for the individual service. Your cell phone and an authentication app are all that you need for most services. Adding 2FA capabilities in your network, like your servers, should be handled by IT professionals as configuration can be complicated.
Two-Factor Authentication Is Only One Part Of Protecting Your Business.
As your business grows, so does the technology you need. Choosing the right technology for your business and making sure it is secure is a challenge for most business owners, office managers, and even IT managers.
That is where we come in. We help choose the right technology for your business. We make sure it is secure and runs smoothly. We provide support when issues come up. The result is your ability to focus on growing your business and not stressing about your technology.