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If Your Aren't Using 2FA, Your Digital Contracts Aren't Secure

Risk & Compliance

Data security is an important topic and something that all businesses should be taking into consideration when setting up and maintaining their IT infrastructure. For companies needing to electronically store their contract portfolio, security is particularly important, as a company’s contracts say a lot about its business affairs. Relying on free data storage services or local hard drives is far from ideal because these methods do not always offer the most sophisticated security measures that are currently available.

The solution selected to house the contract portfolio must be designed in a way that it provides several layers of protection so that the system cannot be penetrated or snooped about unknowingly. One of the best ways to prevent these unwanted intrusions from happening is to invest in a system that mandates the use of two-factor authentication.If you aren’t using two-factor authentication, then your digital contracts simply aren’t secure. Here is a brief rundown of what two-factor authentication is and why it is important to utilize to keep contract data secure:

One Factor

Most online accounts require the creation of a unique, personalized account to access the system. The two standard requirements are a username, usually the person’s work email address, and a password that has to meet a series of criteria, such as a specified character length and the use of multiple types of characters. Creating this login information is certainly an important facet of securing an online account, but it does not necessarily take things far enough. After all, passwords are sometimes shared among employees, they can be outright stolen if written in a conspicuous location, or someone may even manage to figure out another person’s password if they simply have enough patience or the right tools to do that. There should definitely be a password associated with an account, but that is just the first factor in a two factor system.

Two Factors

In two-factor authentication, after establishing the username and password for the specific account, there has to be a second item that the person will use to complete the login process. Basically, just entering the username and password is not enough to give someone access to the account, as these two pieces of information are a bit flimsy security-wise. The second factor may be something that a person knows such as a second password or a specially created pin, something that the person is so to speak, such as their own unique fingerprint, or something that the person has, such as a card that contains a chip that must be swiped or inserted.

Second Factor Options

As mentioned, the second factor may be one of several things, and the way in which it is verified may also be accomplished in various ways. For example, the second factor may be a code that is generated by the account system at the time of the attempted login that is then sent via text message or email to the user to enter within a specified timeframe. If the code is not entered, then it expires and a new one must be generated for a subsequent login attempt. On the other hand, the second factor may be the chipped card that is scanned or swiped at the time of each login attempt. The easiest method probably involves code generation at login, which will most likely be linked to a mobile phone to allow for automated text messaging.

Ultimately, it is not as important how the two-factor authentication system is set up, so long as there is a multi-layer entry process in place. Companies do not want anyone to be able to access their data storage sites, especially when they are electronically storing copies of sensitive items, such as contracts and any related documents. Most company documents need to be handled with care, but particularly those that reveal a company’s pricing or intellectual property, as contracts often do.

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