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Are you protected from password security breaches?

From the experts | Posted on August 7, 2014 by Matthew Thiffault

There have been a lot of headlines in the news recently about password security breaches.

From “Russian Hackers Amass Over a Billion Internet Passwords” to “Stolen Passwords at Core of Breach”, or “New Vulnerabilities Expose User Passwords for Sites You Use.”, you should be alarmed.

We live our lives online. We work, shop, communicate, bank, socialize, store data, share files over the Internet. Pretty much everything we do, we are putting ourselves out there. As interesting as it would be to pack it all up, move to the mountains, install solar everything, and live off the grid, it’s just not an option for most of us.

So what can you do?

A simple solution is to use multi-factor authentication, also known as two-factor authentication. Now it’s not foolproof, but it’s a step in the right direction.

Two-factor authentication requires the use of two of the three independent authentication factors:

  1. Something you know, like a password or a PIN.
  2. Something you have, like an ATM card, smart card or a key FOB.
  3. Something you are, a biometric characteristic like a fingerprint or retinal scan.

The most common authentication that you probably see is a username and password in combination with a code that expires or is only used once, like an SMS message or a FOB

code

Personal Accounts

Some two-factor options are already available for popular personal accounts people use every day, like Facebook, Twitter and Google, such as Google Authenticator.

googleImplementing this on your personal accounts is easy and can stop others from logging in from systems that you don’t use. If your credentials are stolen, two-factor authentication options make it harder for hackers to actually gain access. You can set up Google two-factor authentication (or, as Google calls it, 2-Step Verification) by following these steps.

You can also check out this website, which lists organizations that offer two-factor authentication. For organizations that don’t offer it, the site shows you how to help entice them to set it up. They also have links on how to set up two-factor authentication for the services that you use.

Corporate Accounts

For corporate accounts, there are several companies that can help with your internal authentication, like Safenet. Whether you are trying to secure cloud applications, cloud services or private networks, Safenet can help through Safenet authentication services. They can also provide hard and soft tokens to fit any environment, which can integrate with most systems and complement others.

Solution Architects at Softchoice are experienced with all types of vendors and methods to protect your networks, users and customers. Feel free to reach out to your Softchoice account manager to set up an appointment to talk about ways to better protect your environments.

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