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The importance of OTP and 2FA (also for the home office)

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The importance of OTP and 2FA (also for the home office)

Protect (home) workplaces from cyber attacks.

 

Once, privacy was a given on the World Wide Web. These days however, major data breaches, phishing scams and ransomware are the order of the day. Companies and governments are increasingly falling victim to cybercriminals. And with the Coronavirus, the risks of cyber attacks have further increased, because at the time of the first lockdown (early 2020), almost half of the office workers in the Netherlands moved from a (more or less) professionally secured digital workplace to an often poorly secured home office. Weak security networks and passwords are often a weak link in this process. And that is exactly what an employer can easily do something about, for example by enabling OTP (One Time Password) or 2FA (Two Factor Authentication). 

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our way of life. Much more is happening online and even after this pandemic, some of it will continue to do so. Cyber security is therefore more important than ever, but where do you start? Spryng gives a few tips that are easy and quick to implement.

 

Share your password? Not a good idea

Despite the many hacks and warnings, many people still use the same, easily guessed passwords. Research into five million stolen passwords has shown that the most commonly used passwords are still “123456” and “password”. And those passwords are also shared more easily than you might think, especially in a business environment. This makes sense when you consider that, for example, several users need access to a team account, but even managers sometimes share a password to delegate tasks. Whether that is smart? Not really, because creating an easy password and sharing passwords make organisations more vulnerable to cyber security. 

 

What is a strong password?

The stronger a password is, the better a computer is protected against hackers and malicious software. This is not rocket science. But, how do you create strong passwords? To start with, a unique password is necessary for all important accounts (such as e-mail and online banking). So never use the same password for different accounts. Furthermore, a strong password is at least eight characters long and consists of lower case letters, upper case letters, numbers and symbols. 

It may be obvious, but do not use personal information such as your name, age, date of birth, the name of your child, etc. And avoid consecutive keyboard combinations such as ‘qwerty’ or ‘asdfg’. Change your passwords regularly and do not use the same password for different accounts. Last but not least, never store passwords in the Internet browser of your computer.

These principles apply in the work environment and at home. Especially now that many people are forced to work from home because of the corona crisis, it is especially important for home workers to log securely into their business digital environment.

 

The importance of OTP

A strong password is good, but even better is the use of a One Time Password (OTP), in the office and for home workers. OTPs are unique and automatically generated passwords that can only be used once. An OTP is sent by SMS to the linked telephone number, because the password changes every time and is only valid for a limited time, you minimise the risk of unauthorised access to confidential digital information.

 

2FA for verification

Two-factor authentication (2FA) or multi-factor authentication (MFA) also significantly reduces the risk of fraudulent login attempts. SMS is usually used in this way as a second login method. One example is a platform where you first enter your password and then receive an SMS containing an extra access code to verify that it is you who is trying to register online on a platform. Check, double check!

 

Provide additional security

A secure online environment is often lacking at home; IT specialists are not on site and networks are often outdated. As more and more people switch to remote working, companies and governments will also have to get their employees’ IT security in order at home, so that people can log securely into their business online environment from home. Fortunately, more and more companies are realising that data security is at least as important as the digital process itself for a healthy, digital future. 

 

Spryng’s SMS Gateway

For SMS messages with OTP/2FA codes, Spryng offers special routes. This means that such messages take priority over other messages in the process and are therefore guaranteed to be delivered within five seconds. Both OTP and 2FA are easy-to-implement features that protect homeworkers and businesses from hacking attempts and data theft. The SMS Gateway from Spryng is linked as standard to many Multi Factor Authentication systems. 

 

More information? 

Interested in working more safely (at home)? And would you like to know more about the OTP/2FA possibilities for your organisation? Please contact us at: info@spryng.sg or 003120-7703005