Two-Factor Authentication: Protecting Your Online Accounts

Laptop and two-factor authentication devices

Two-factor authentication, or 2FA, is one of the easiest and most available multi-factor authentication approaches to protecting online accounts.

Analysis of recent online account breaches indicate that weak and reused passwords continue to be a common entry point for account or identity takeover and network intrusions.

Some simple steps and tools like two-factor authentication can help your end users employ unique, strong passwords for their dozens of accounts.

Wouldn’t it be nice if your accounts could let you know when someone new is trying to get into them? Even better, wouldn’t it be terrific to make a stolen password useless to others?

Were you tricked into revealing your password through a phishing scam? Rest easy, your account is safe! That’s essentially the control that two-factor authentication (2FA) — also known as two-step verification or login approval — gives to you. And, it only takes about two minutes to set up and two seconds to use. That’s a lot of power for very little effort!

How does it work?

Once you’ve activated two-factor authentication on an account, whenever an account login with your password comes from a different device from what you’ve already permitted, an authorization check will come to your smartphone or other registered device.

Without your approval or current code, a password thief can’t get into your account. (more…)

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Why Small Businesses Should Protect Employee Personal Information

Shield protecting personal information

While corporate executives have picked up practical tips on how their company can secure and protect the personal information it keeps, leaders of small businesses and organizations have to do more to protect the personal information of their employees.

But some business owners may still be wondering why data security should be at the top of their agenda. Two reasons show why your company should strive to safeguard personal information.

First, good security is just plain good business. Aware of the risk of identity theft, today’s customers are concerned about their privacy.

As any business that has experienced a breach, and the theft of personal information has learned, customers prefer companies that demonstrate a commitment to security.

For the same reasons, customers will think twice before doing business with a company that has experienced a privacy breach. Given this choice, many businesses find it more cost-effective to secure the information they have rather than try to repair the damage and rebuild consumer confidence after a data loss or breach. (more…)

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The Challenges of Data Leakage Prevention for Small Businesses

Hard drive with technicians trying to stop data leakage

With the rapid advances in technology and the attendant interconnected nature of computer systems, many business owners are becoming increasingly aware of the dire need to control the flow of information into, through and out of their enterprises, and challenges of trying to prevent data leakage.

For years, the focus of the business owner was on how to stop viruses, spam, network intrusions etc. Now the new threat is massive data leakage. This new threat affects all kinds of businesses large and small. According to a recent International Data Corporation (IDC) report, over 80 percent of respondents to a survey acknowledged that the fear of data loss and leakage was one of the biggest challenges facing their establishments. Of these, over 50 percent admitted that they were already victims of data leakage incidents. (more…)

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Survive Cyber Attacks With A Backup And Disaster Recovery Plan

data backup and recovery cloud services

There’s no way to predict the future, and Murphy’s Law tells us that anything that can go wrong will go wrong. If you and your business or organization do not have a well-thought out recovery plan, your company’s data is teetering on the edge of a cliff without a safety net.

Having a comprehensive and well thought-out data backup and disaster recovery plan in place when there is data loss can help your organization or business survive malicious cyber attacks like ransomware.

In the last few years, we’ve seen plenty of organizations in the news for suffering huge damage from cyber attacks. And there does not seem to be any pointers that cyber incidents are going to reduce any time soon.

However, while cyber attacks as a cause of downtime have almost doubled as the cause of data loss, the rate at which it continues to cause downtime havoc will depend on improvements made to defensive and responsive measures like having a backup and disaster recovery plan.

What are backup and disaster recovery?

There’s an important distinction between backup and disaster recovery.

Backup is the process of making an extra copy (or multiple copies) of data. You back up data to protect it. You might need to restore backup data if you encounter an accidental deletion, database corruption, or problem with a software upgrade.

Disaster recovery, on the other hand, refers to the plan and processes for quickly reestablishing access to applications, data, and IT resources after an outage. That plan might involve switching over to a redundant set of servers and storage systems until your primary data center is functional again. (more…)

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Data Encryption Tools For The Mobile Business Executive

Infographic depicting various devices using data encryption.

Data encryption is not one of the security options most companies think of providing for their senior executives who use, and travel, with laptops, netbooks and tablets so they can stay productive even when on the road. This is even more true of corporate executives who sometimes demand anytime, anywhere access to data residing on corporate servers.

While the big corporations can afford to spend millions of dollars on data protection hardware and software., the same cannot be said of executives in small and medium-sized organizations, especially when it comes to loss of personal information, including credit card data, patient records or other financial information, stored by the company.

Data breaches happen and information is lost every day due to small mistakes that could have been avoided by using data encryption technologies. For small businesses, these data loss events can be devastating. (more…)

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The ABCs of a Business Continuity Plan

Image of replicated computer system to enable business continuity.

The ABCs of a Business Continuity Plan: How To Stay in Business After an Extended Outage

You’ve probably heard this sermon a million times, but we will keep harping on it until small business owners start taking the issue of business continuity and disaster recovery planning more seriously. Especially in this new era of daily reports of ransomware attacks.

Those in the trenches know the familiar drill: you get a call about a failed hard drive, a system that is down, a lost laptop, a folder encrypted by a former employee, or the worst, an inaccessible office. Of course the first statement you make is “no problem, we’ll just restore from backup“. That is until you see the guilty look on the client’s face and the reality hits you: there is no backup or if there is one, it is either not up to date or has never been verified.

Business continuity is about having a plan to deal with difficult situations, so your organization can continue to function with as little disruption as possible. (more…)

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