The Centre for Cybersecurity Belgium and The Cyber Security Coalition are launching their sixth awareness campaign. This takes place every year during the European month of cybersecurity. This year's theme is two factor authentication.
Nobody is surprised anymore when a list of passwords and account details is published on the Internet because a site has been hacked. Unfortunately it has become commonplace. That's why extra vigilance is needed in a world where every device is connected to the internet and we have to create an online account for every action. The upside of this drawback is that many people have fortunately started to realise that strong passwords are important.
The upside of this drawback is that many people have fortunately started to realise that strong passwords are important.
Wanted: strong password
Many accounts ask us for a password every day. Studies have shown we only use a limited number of different passwords for all these accounts and often they turn out to be too simple. An easily remembered password is usually easy to crack. Combinations of names and dates of birth are classics and are based on information about you, which can easily be found online.
Strong passwords are also stolen in case of data leaks. Sometimes we inadvertently reveal our passwords ourselves when we're not sufficiently aware of the risks or the existence of phishing . The message of this awareness-raising campaign is clear therefore: no matter how strong a password is, there are no measures to how much you need to make sure your account, your website, your devices, etc. are secure.
Extra security layer
Of course, a strong password is an absolute must. But if you really want to play it safe, it is better to add a second layer of security on top of your password. Two factor authentication is an easy method for a better protection of your accounts. This is done by literally adding a second step to the authentication process before you can log in successfully. For example, a password is combined with a question to which only you know the answer. Surely you've already had to confirm your e-mail account by entering the name of your first pet.
Even more secure is the combination of a strong password and a physical device. Think of an application that sends you a unique code by text message that you have to enter on your computer to log in. Or ‘the device’ you use for online banking: you need your bank card, your PIN code, the device itself and an ad hoc generated code.
DNS Belgium's advice is very clear. If two factor authentication is a possibility, use it.
Biometric data are also being increasingly used: for years your iPhone has requested a fingerprint to download an app. And face recognition is also becoming increasingly popular. It goes without saying that such unique 'data' is more secure than just a password and that hackers don't have access to your fingerprint or your iris.
DNS Belgium's advice is very clear. If two factor authentication is a possibility, use it. We would even go one step further. We believe that when you register a domain name your choice of registrar should depend on whether or not that registrar offers two factor authentication and demands strong passwords. Two factor authentication is not a luxury but a must.