How much protection do you think passwords provide today to your company’s Web sites, mobile devices and desktop computers? The right answer? Probably not much. Cyber criminals have perfected the art of cracking passwords. And too often, employees trust in passwords that are easy to guess. This leaves your company vulnerable to cyber attacks. Fortunately, there’s a solution: two-factor authentication. And, according to a recent story by Biztech Magazine, it’s the simplest way to immediately boost your company’s ability to shield itself from cyber crimes.

How it works

Two-factor authentication works so well because it requires users to take two separate actions to log onto a machine or Web site, according to the Biztech story. That’s good enough to chase away the majority of cyber criminals who will go on to target companies with weaker protection. With a typical two-step authentication setup, end users must use both a password and something else to log onto their machines or Web sites. An end user might have to swipe a smart card or insert a token. A company might even rely on biometric identifiers as the all-important second step.

Getting started

Not all of your employees, though, are going to be happy about two-factor authentication. It requires more work on their part, after all. But Biztech does provide a few recommendations for smoothing this rollout. First, the magazine suggests that you choose a second factor that will result in the least disruption among employees. For instance, Biztech uses the example of smart cards. Mobile devices such as smartphones are usually not compatible with these cards. That could be deal breaker for some businesses. Companies that have personnel that work from a wide range of locations might not do well with physical tokens.

Take your time

Another key to successfully launching two-factor authentication? You need to take your time. Provide employees with a window of time to read about the system and ask questions. This will likely increase the odds that your employees will be agreeable with the transformation. If you launch the system without providing the proper education, you’ll quite possibly alienate and aggravate your workers.

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