By Jennifer Adams
Passwords have been the key to authentication since the birth of the internet, however, cybercriminals have continued to innovate their techniques alongside technology, making a password no longer enough to protect your accounts. Login credentials are valuable. So valuable they can be sold on the dark web for as much as $500,000. While having unique passwords for each account stored in a password manager is a great practice for keeping your accounts secure, it's not foolproof. Even if you have a password manager, login credentials can still be figured out. If a hacker tricks you into giving away your password, nothing stands between them and your account information, except a multi-factor authenticator, if you have one.
What are cyber-attacks?
A cyberattack is an unwelcome attempt to steal, alter, disable, destroy, or expose data through an unauthorized login to an organizations computer system. Motivations for these attacks tend to fall into one of three categories: criminal, political, or personal. Criminally motivated attackers want to steal money through by outright theft or by holding an organization's vital data for ransom. If the ransom if paid, there is no guarantee the files will be released. A politically motivated attacker seeks to draw attention to a cause, making this type of attack known as hacktivism. A hacker with a personal motivation might be a dissatisfied current or former employee looking to take funds, files or to disarrange a company’s system.
How do hackers break into a network?
The easiest way for a hacker to gain access to a system is to obtain the administrative or user login credentials. These credentials are obtained through one of three ways:
If the same password is used for more than one account and that account is hacked, then the password will likely be used to try and unlock other accounts.
Automated tools and scripts are used to try every possible combination of letters and numbers to figure out your password. Depending on the complexity of the password, this can take anywhere from a few minutes to several years.
The newest and most dangerous type of attack, social engineering attacks are usually conducted through phishing or vishing to trick the user into providing their credentials in an email that looks legitimate but is a hacker posing as a company you trust.
How does a multi-factor authenticator protect my company against this?
By combining your username and password with a multi-factor authenticator, an extra layer of security is added that is impossible for the hacker to pass through, even if they have your password. By requiring additional steps, the hacker cannot access the account without a passcode generated by an authorized device. The passcode changes every 30 seconds, so the person attempting to access the account must have the authorized device with them to get through.
How do I get a multi-factor authenticator for my company?
By contacting one of the IT experts at XETX Business Solutions! Call us at (936) 569-1992 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an appointment today!