In our imagination, online hackers assume many thrilling forms.
Like international shadow-organizations pulling digital strings. Or James Bond villains seizing control of the Internet.
Of course, the reality isn't nearly as cinematic.
But it'd be a big mistake to assume that smaller organizations and regular folks running their businesses aren’t targeted as well – even if by less outrageous figures than James Bond villains.
Online payroll and HR makes work ten times simpler for you and your employees. But as we both know, the personal and financial information involved makes security ten times more important.
One prominent security safeguard CheckWriters has instituted platform-wide to protect you against the bad guys is two-factor authentication, or 2FA.
What is two-factor authentication?
When the IT world refers to authentication measures, we’re referring to factors used to confirm the identity of the authorized user of a system. There are three authentication measures that can be used:
Something the user knows – password or pin
Something the user has – token or smart card (two-factor authentication)
Something the user is – biometrics, such as a fingerprint (three-factor authentication)
Of course, we’re all familiar with usernames and passwords, which are the authentication measure of choice for everything from online banking to online shopping.
But amid today’s cyber threats, it’s becoming more common to see additional authentication measures in place.
And while you may not have heard the term, chances are you’ve used 2FA before.
For example, many banks have started using 2FA: when you login using your password, you’ll be sent a text message containing a unique numerical key that must be entered before you’re allowed to proceed.
So 2FA is a security procedure by which the user of a system must verify their identity using two factors – for example, a password plus a numerical key sent to their mobile phone.
Is two-factor authentication worth it?
Of course, whenever we talk technology a recurrent theme is the balance between security and convenience.
2FA definitely adds an additional step to any login process. But by taking an additional 20 seconds or so to complete a secure login, you’re adding an extra layer of security for highly sensitive information – pay data, employee social security numbers, bank accounts – that’s probably worth more than those extra 20 seconds.
“With security breaches happening almost daily, the need to improve authentication practices has reached an all-time high,” says Jonathan Flebotte, Director of IT Infrastructure at CheckWriters.
“That’s why we’ve had our team develop and implement 2FA – to combat these threats. Keeping our clients’ data safe while providing convenient, fast access to our web products tops our list of priorities here at CheckWriters."