61141880_thumbnailWhen it comes to the productivity of your employees, you do a lot to ensure that they’re as efficient as they can possibly be. Adding extra screens, buying powerful machines and paying for speedy internet all helps your users to be more productive and boost your bottom line. As you work to improve your security, you may or may not have come across two-factor authentication (2FA). Two-factor authentication allows users to verify their login information with an additional code or other piece of information. Banks have been using 2FA for many years. Now that hackers are getting smarter than ever, it’s time to introduce 2FA into the mainstream business technology environment. While you may have concerns about how two-factor authentication may inhibit productivity or cause login issues for your users, the pros far outweigh the cons.

Protect user credentials from password guessing software.
Hackers spend a lot of time trying to access user credentials. Humans typically create passwords that are easy for them to remember, but in doing so often compromise the security of that password. Adding 2FA to your login can protect your user credentials from brute force attacks from password guessing software that is often used by hackers.

Eliminate the collateral damage from successful phishing attempts.
Spear phishing attempts are becoming more intelligent and aggressive than ever, with some recent attempts that we wrote about not only using the information of people within your organization, but also stealing their e-mail signature and placing it in the body of the e-mail. Phishing attempts are typically successful when they convince a user to login to a fake website or provide their login credentials. 2FA almost completely eliminates their ability to use those credentials, since there will always be a second token required.

Protecting business data is more important than productivity.
This is a little bit more obvious. IT security is a top concern for business owners going into 2016, according to Accenture. 75% of those surveyed indicated that they planned to invest in improving IT security next year. While some business owners may have a concern about 2FA hampering productivity, it’s an absolute must given the modern cyber attacks that are continuing to grow.

It protects your customers, and they appreciate it.
Moving forward, everything businesses do should be about the customer. While you’re taking the time to consider technologies that improve customer experience, don’t forget about their right to privacy. You owe it to your customers to protect their data and if you’re making an attempt to improve your business for them – two-factor authentication is a no-brainer.

Paul Meyer once said, “Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning and focused effort.” By focusing on your efforts on IT security, you secure the future of your business and avoid a lot of potential heartache and stress that could happen if your business or customer data is compromised. Here is a list of applications that currently allow 2FA and some that do not that you can request 2FA for. Make sure that you’re doing your diligence to protect customer and business information next year by implementing two-factor authentication in your server, e-mail, cloud, banking and other websites that you access.