2FA: A Simple Security Tool

Video Blog from DC the Computer Guy

In the news recently we’ve been hearing about the SolarWinds hack. Believed to have been perpetrated by Russian hackers, we now know that it’s affecting tech companies, hospital systems, and United States federal agencies, as well as other government agencies around the world. While it has been confirmed that some customers have been directly affected, the attacks have been aimed at primarily supply chain organizations – that means they are attacking the sites that you log into for business and finance.

With these advanced attack tactics out there, it is more critical than ever that we find ways to protect ourselves in the digital world. One of the best ways to do that is by enabling Two-Factor Authentication (2FA).

We’ve discussed this topic in previous blogs and social media posts, but in light of recent events, I decided it would be a timely topic for my video blog. Click on the video below to watch.

We here at CLARK began recommending 2FA to our clients long before this Covid-19 situation started. While data is still being compiled on the number of cyberattacks for this year, at this point we know that there were more attacks in the first half of 2020 than for the entirety of 2019.

When you stop and think about the sheer volume of cyberattacks, it becomes apparent that each of us must take steps to reduce our chances of becoming a victim. One of the best tools available to us right now is still 2FA. While I go into using 2FA more in this video blog, I wanted to highlight some aspects of it for you here.

How It Works.

One of the most common methods of 2FA is using an authenticator – these provide you with an encrypted 6 digit passcode. After being prompted to provide a user name and password for the program or website you’re trying to access, the credential manager will prompt you for the passcode. After entering the passcode, you’re in. Some of them even support Push Notifications, allowing you to answer a prompt if you’re trying to login rather than requiring a passcode.

Don’t Get Lax on Passwords

2FA is a great tool for securing personal and business accounts, but the single best security tool is still a Strong Password. There’s a reason that hackers go to such great lengths as creating Phishing campaigns, designing fake websites, and performing brute force attacks to steal your credentials. Without those credentials, 2FA is a significant defense, but with your credentials, 2FA becomes another obstacle to be overcome.

Security Is Not Inconvenient

One of the primary pushbacks we hear is that “2FA takes too much time.”

Is it an extra step? Yes. But is it really going to slow you down? Probably not. On average, it takes as much time to access an authenticator and type in that 6-digit pin as it takes to open Facebook and post a laughing emoticon. For the extra security it offers, those few seconds are absolutely worthwhile.

As I mentioned earlier, we began recommending 2FA long before this whole pandemic started, we have plenty of experience configuring it and showing our clients how to use it. If you are not currently using 2FA in your small business or for your personal financial accounts, I would strongly recommend you start using it now.

If you’re not sure how to get started, fill out the form below or give us a call for more information.


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