Data breaches are a huge threat to anyone that stores information online, and that means virtually every direct selling business. If you’re looking for a way to keep yourself and your customers safe from the effects of cyber-attacks, you need to be using 2FA as part of your defense. Haven’t heard of 2FA? We’ll go over the basics and give you some tips for making it a key part of your security strategy.
Why Your Data Might Not Be as Safe as You Think
Before we get into 2FA, let’s take a second to talk about passwords. For years, this has been the go-to way to protect online information. But recently, they’re having a harder and harder time holding up to attacks. Here are some of the reasons why:
People make bad passwords
About 75% of people believe they’re informed on current password-making best practices. But despite what they know, 2/3 of people reuse passwords for multiple sites and 43% of users prioritize an easy-to-remember password over of a secure one. It’s now estimated that 90% of passwords can be cracked in under six hours.
Cybercrime is on the rise
Stealing data is big business—in 2018 alone, cybercriminals generated $1.5 trillion in revenue. As tech advances, hackers find better and better tools to brute force, expose, and share passwords.
The 2FA Solution
2FA (2-factor authentication) is the next best step for securing your customer and distributor data. Let’s break it down:
Why is 2FA better than a password?
2FA is a type of MFA, or multi-factor authentication, that uses at least two kinds of information to verify an identity. It’s much a much better way to defend your data than using just a password because cybercriminals have to bypass two levels of security to get what they’re after rather than just one.
Common authentication factors
Multi-factor authentication is security defense that multiple kinds of information to verify identity. The most common types are:
Something the user knows: a word or code that only you and the system share (like a password)
Something the user has: usually something like a phone or smartwatch, but it can also be a USB token, key card, etc.
Something the user is: a biometric feature—like a fingerprint, facial characteristics, a gait pattern, or something along those lines.
A happy medium
With every authentication layer you add to the login process, your data becomes more secure. But before you get too excited and add four or five, remember that each one brings a level of inconvenience to the sign-in process. 2FA is a great middle ground—it’s much more secure than a password but only asks your users to take one extra step.
Implementation Best PracticesNow that you know the power of 2FA and how it works, here are some tips for making it as effective as possible right from the get-go:
Get 2FA for your distributors and employees. Anyone that has access to sensitive information in your company should be using 2FA.
Use separate identity management systems to isolate your data stores. Because your distributors and employees have different kinds of data they need to access, it’s best to divide these pools of information. This keeps your data exposure a lot more limited if you ever experience a breach.
Choose different authentication methods for each group. When you’re thinking about the factors you want to use, consider the security clearance you need the user to have before accessing data. If your distributors, for example, only have access to personalized information, they don’t need to use the same authentication methods as an employee that deals with credit card information. One group can be fine with SMS verification, while the other should be using something more advanced, like push notifications from a security app.
Put your user first. Last but not least, look at the sign-in process from your users’ point of view. Consider how often they access their data, the time it takes to do so, and whether the experience helps them to feel safer.
Security Builds Trust
As we see more and more data breaches hitting the headlines, it’s time to start thinking about the way we handle information. Putting measures in place like 2FA shows you’re willing to walk the walk—when you tell your distributors and customers that they can trust you, they can see it’s true by the way you treat their data.
It’s much easier to put preemptive measures in place now than try to clean up your reputation or deal with the FTC later on. If you started reading this blog thinking that using passwords is “good enough” for your long-term security, we hope you’ve reconsidered. 2FA makes it easier to stay protected from threats and maintain the trust you work so hard to cultivate in your business. To learn more about maximizing your MLM strategy, you can get in touch with our InfoTrax commission consultants or click here for our software services