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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Electronic Payments: Protecting Your Employees and Organization

Electronic Payments and Protection

Employees or small organizations are using electronic payments more than ever before. As the use of credit cards to make purchases and payments replaces the use of cash, and online merchants supplant brick-and-mortar stores, protecting electronic payments becomes more important.

Whether you are making payments for your own personal consumption or on behalf of your organization, electronic payments need to be protected.

Online sales in the United States grew to a record high of nearly 19 percent during the 2019 holiday season. At the same time, the convenience of using credit cards and other electronic payment services is compelling consumers to rapidly reduce their use of cash.

The 2019 Diary of Consumer Payment Choice report shows that cash is used about 50 percent of the time for in-person transactions under $10 (for things like lunch or coffee). For larger purchases of $25 or more, cash is used only 10 percent of the time. Cyber-criminals are taking advantage of the increase in electronic payments. (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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Is Your Small Business Router Priming You For Disaster?

Computer network router with cables plugged in

Network routers are the essential but unheralded workhorses of modern computer networking, yet few business (and home-office) users realize they are computers, with their own operating systems, software and vulnerabilities. Is your network router going to be the downfall of your business or organization?

Using a less that adequate network router to power your business could leave your organization routed for disaster. And, relying on a weak router like the ones made specifically for home use to protect your business computer network might be the most expensive mistake your organization ever makes.

Here’s why:

Most home (consumer-oriented) Internet routers have serious security flaws, with some so vulnerable to attack that security experts recommend that they should be thrown out.

As noted by Micheal Horowitz , a computer security consultant who specializes on router security, “it is a mistake to use a consumer router”.

The big reason is that consumer-oriented router security is not acceptable. (more…)

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The Business Case for EndPoint Security in Small Organizations

According to BAE Systems, almost 50 percent of small businesses have experienced a cyber attack, and as much as 60 percent of hacked small- and medium-sized businesses go out of business after six months. By deploying endpoint security solutions, most cyber attack attempts can be prevented.

Devices and services protected by endpoint security solutions

Faced with limited IT personnel and budget, small business environment usually end up with non-standard computer configurations, inadequate or non-existent security policies, old equipment etc.

The impact of the failure of an endpoint on business processes can be a little scary sometimes. A good example is a call I got from a friend the other day. The boss’s computer had a couple of viruses and they had to disconnect the computer from the network.

Of course that meant business had to come to a halt because everything was on the boss’s computer. There were no anti-virus software on any of the workstations and of course no firewall of any kind, so it was free for all. (more…)

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