The Importance of Unique Passwords & Multi-Factor Authentication

I know I start to sound like a broken record when it comes to this topic, but it is too important to ignore. The subject of passwords and multi-factor authentication applies to both businesses and personal use.

With so many accounts online, the importance of a unique password used for every account has become crucial. Every day we see websites being hacked into with user account credentials being stolen and published online. Hackers will use these stolen credentials and attempt to login with them across an array of websites and services such as social media accounts, bank accounts and email accounts. If the victim in this scenario has used that same password that was stolen and published, on any of their other online accounts, it really is just a matter of time before that account will be broken into.

But how can I remember 20 different passwords for all my accounts?! No, writing it down in a notepad is not the answer, nor is keeping it in a file labeled “passwords” on your desktop. Password management companies like LastPass or Bitwarden have surged over the past few years. These companies maintain applications that can be deployed all devices (PC, Mac, iOS or Android) that assist with securely storing these unique passwords and help you to easily utilize them when needed. A password manager will even notify you of security events like a recent breach and a compromised password. It will also notify you of duplicate passwords and help guide you towards changing those passwords to maintain proper compliance.

Multi-factor authentication (or the most commonly used version two-factor authentication) are extra steps of security layered into the login process. The purpose is to make the hacker’s life harder and to reduce risks of the account being compromised. Multi-factor authentication normally involves a user to be prompted for a verification code sent via text to their phone number or email, or possibly via a random password generated through an application like Google Authenticator. The additional layers of security makes it significantly more difficult for a hacker to get into your account.

The future of passwords will continue to evolve as the threats against our online accounts continue to also advance. However, it is agreed today by cyber security experts in the industry that the baseline protection for our accounts is a combination of proper password management with enforced multi-factor authentication on those accounts.

Contact us to learn more about how we can help your business implement best practices for password management and multi-factor authentication.