Why Every Company Needs to Use Two Factor Authentication
Learn how enabling 2 Factor Authentication can protect your employees and customers against almost any cyber attack.
In the past few years the most lucrative targets for malicious actors and scammers have been almost exclusively businesses and companies that are apathetic in their internal security implementations.
These lax security implementations allow malicious actors to infiltrate and compromise the systems, networks and databases of entire companies. The major reason behind this is the negligence of security norms by small businesses and companies. SMB’s keep their eyes on factors that directly affect their revenue but fail to keep their sight on something just as important, their Security.
So before delving deeper on how you should protect yourself and your company, you should know the things you are going up against:
- What are Cyber Attacks ?
- What are the hackers main objectives and how do they get in ?
- What are the different types of Cyber Attacks that could target you ?
- How do you protect your company against these attacks ?
- Why Two Factor Authentication (2FA) ?
What are Cyber Attacks ?
The term cyber attack refers to any external attack which is initiated from a set of computers to impair regular functioning of other computers and related networks. That means that if you are a part of a company, then the employees of the company are probably at risk of falling victim to these attacks
Mainly categorized into 2 sub categories:
In the first category hackers will directly attack the target system and make it’s functioning inaccessible for the owner, ensuring that all services are encrypted and locked. Even though you are the owner, you will be completely locked out from your own device.
In the second category, the goal of the hacker is to get sensitive information like credentials from your devices and use them for their own means.
There are various types of attacks including but not limited to Phishing, Ransomware, Crypto jacking, SQL injection etc. What all these attacks have in common is that every single one of them has in multiple cases involved the leak of a user, admin or employee credentials.
Malicious actors use these credentials to get into systems and databases of the business. As seen in the Twitter attack, in the month of July. Hackers in that incident were able to get access to twitter admin credentials and through that they were able to access an internal twitter tool that allowed them to take over entire user twitter accounts.
Another incident in July was the Garmin Ransomware attack. Garmin servers, websites and even production lines were shut down during the prolonged 5 day attack. All of that was reportedly started off through a single compromised internal system in Taiwan.
First we will figure out how the attackers infiltrate your system.
The easiest way for any malicious actor to compromise an entire system or an individual user, is to obtain the admin or user credentials. The attackers usually obtain these credentials through one of three methods.
Using Pre-leaked Passwords
In this case the attackers will use previously seen passwords from known data breaches. This specific attack vector is known as Credential Stuffing. The attackers use these previously leaked passwords to try to gain access to the account. If successful they are able to directly access any account that uses the same password as the one in the data breach.
Through Brute-Force Attacks
Another attack vector is through the use of brute force techniques. Here the attackers use automated tools and scripts to try every possible combination of a password. Although in some cases time intensive, the ease at which most common passwords can be cracked using this method cannot be understated.
This is the newest form of attack that we have observed in the wild, but it’s arguably the most dangerous. Here the attackers send out emails or directly call vulnerable victims and convince them into sharing their passwords willingly. Mostly done through Phishing and Vishing.
The most effective way to protect your employees or users is through the use of Two Factor Authentication.
Passwords are everywhere, we use them to access anything and everything. At first, we used one password for everything but that wasn’t good enough so we started making our passwords more complicated with a combination of numbers, uppercase/lowercase letters & even special characters.
Many people use password managers to organize dozens or hundreds of unique passwords. But no matter how complex your password or the password management system is, it is still sometimes not enough to prevent account takeover, because all it takes is one simple phishing email or database breach and your password is out in the world. So, if passwords are impossible to protect, how do you protect your account ?
That’s where two-factor authentication comes in. Using Two Factor Authentication adds another method of identity verification to secure your accounts.
By combining your username and password with the second method your account becomes extremely secure and almost impossible for an attacker to pass through, even if they have your password.
The main reason why two-factor authentication matters is that a password is no longer strong enough on its own to protect your company’s data. Here are a few statistics as to why:
- 92% of organizations have credentials for sale on the Dark Web
- 61% of people reuse the same or similar password everywhere
- “123456” and “password” were the top two password choices in 2018
- 81% of data breaches have been the result of weak or stolen password
Even if a hacker buys credentials from the dark web, they won’t be able to access 2FA enabled accounts unless they also have the MFA device, whether it’s a phone with an authenticator app or a device like a YubiKey. It’s why 81% of data breaches could have been prevented if 2FA had been enabled.
Among the secure methods for a user to control sites, password-protected authentication is used widely because it is easily adopted and has high compatibility in a cost effective manner. miniOrage provides a secure two-factor authentication mechanism plugin for multiple platforms (WordPress, Atlassian, Drupal, Magento & Moodle) which adds an extra layer of security to your company’s databases and website. Through these plugins, you will get access to several authentication methods that can restrict the user’s credentials from being shared with anyone, on purpose, or by accident.
When the user enters his/her correct username and password they are prompted with a second-factor authentication page, in order to login successfully. We offer 15+ authentication methods which include OTP over Email, OTP over SMS, hardware token, QR code authentication, Google authenticator etc.
You can learn more about restricting user/admin credentials and enabling Two/Multi-Factor Authentication with miniOrange through the following link.
In this article, we have given a brief synopsis on the different types of attacks that target SMBs . A solution on how we can protect ourselves from these attacks using 2FA. Two-factor authentication adds an extra step to your basic log-in procedure.
The best part of the Two Factor Authentication is that it lets you extend your existing authentication solutions to all users, employees and admins. This allows you to bolster your security in a single swoop.You may be curious about how you or your development team can implement this through code.
You may be curious about how you or your development team can implement this on your website. check the following resources for more information:
miniOrange is a cloud and on-premise based identity and access management (IAM) solution provider. It securely connects enterprises to their customers and partners by providing and supporting single sign-on (SSO), Two Factor Authentication (2FA) / multi-factor authentication (MFA), User Provisioning, Adaptive Authentication, Social Login, and Network Security products and solutions. miniOrange SSO provides Single Sign-On to any type of device or application whether they are in the cloud or on-premise. The company aims to give organizations the ability to securely manage access to all of their web based applications in one place.
miniOrange simpliﬁes identity management through secure, one-click access, for employees, customers and partners, through all device types, to all enterprise cloud and on-premise applications. With over 7+ years of experience in integration with multiple apps, miniOrange is trusted by known brands all over the world.
For more information, visit https://miniorange.com.