What’s the hype about 2-factor authentication?

More than 95 percent of cybersecurity incidents involve the online use of stolen credentials from customers’ devices, according to the 2015 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report. Cyber hackers use these credentials to impersonate users to access their online information.

These cybersecurity incidents might have been prevented if these customers spent an extra five to 10 seconds to log in to their systems and applications with 2-factor authentication, also called 2-step verification.

Use 2-factor authentication

As cyber criminals and activists become more sophisticated, average online users need more than passwords to protect themselves or their organizations against cybercrimes. A good hacker can crack even the strongest password and impersonate users, accessing their private information and sensitive company data.

With 2-factor authentication, you can stop hackers. Once you enable the security feature, you will be required to log in to an account or system with both your password (something you know) and an additional one-time security code that is often generated and sent to your mobile phone or other device (something you have). This two-step authentication process prevents hackers from accessing your online accounts and systems with just stolen passwords.

Protect your assets

The typical Internet user today accesses online banking information, medical records, personal information, and employer’s sensitive data. As an Internet user, it’s in your best interest to protect your credentials from theft, which can lead to identity fraud and unauthorized access to your information. Once your password is stolen, it’s only a matter of time before your access to other applications is compromised. A proven-security method, 2-factor authentication can help you safeguard your finances, your reputation and your livelihood.

Get 2-factor/step

NC State currently provides 2-step verification for Google Apps @ NC State (e.g., Gmail, Google docs, Calendaring). In addition, the university has acquired DUO Security, a new technology that leverages two-step verification when users log in to university-owned computers or remotely access sensitive university applications and systems. More information about DUO Security will be available to the campus community soon. See also Turn on 2FA for other commonly used applications.

If you need help installing 2-step verification for Google Apps, contact the NC State Help Desk at 919.515.HELP (4357).