One of the most widely discussed barriers to adoption of the cloud is concerns over security. And so it should be – if someone gains unauthorised access to the cloud environment where your data is, then your entire organisation is at threat.
Yet this needn’t be a great concern. With the addition of Two-factor Authentication (or 2FA), your cloud IT becomes more secure than any on-premise alternative, be it public, private or hybrid.
According to Wikipedia, 2FA has existed since 1984. Two-step, or two-factor authentication protects your accounts by requiring you to provide an additional piece of information after you give your password to get into your account. After correctly entering your password, the service will send you a text message with a unique string of numbers that you’ll need to enter to access your account. A good example of the concept is your EFTPOS card – it only works with an additional piece of private information (your PIN number).
Both Google Apps and Microsoft Office 365 support 2FA and have done so for over 2 years. Facebook launched its version of this security (called Login Approvals) over four years ago. With Google Apps there is a Google Authenticator app for IOS/Android which gives you a perpetually changing 6 digit numeric key. Simply enter the key when prompted at sign-on and you can remain signed in for up to 30 days, so it’s not a hassle to use 2FA.
You can read more about Google’s 2-step here
Read how to setup 2FA in Office 365 here
Amazon Web Services instructions for 2FA are here