Can you use Two-Factor Authentication without a Phone?

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I heard an interesting statistic from Microsoft this week.

They say that enabling two-factor authentication (2FA) on your Microsoft 365 account can reduce the chances of your account getting hacked by 99.9%.

If that’s the case, then why wouldn’t everyone enable two-factor authentication? Every business should have it enabled for every individual in their firms.

But when you use two-factor authentication, you rely on a smartphone.
Because with 2FA, you enter your password and then a code is sent to a smartphone via SMS text message or by using an app.

For some businesses, this might cause of problem.

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If you’re not supplying everyone in your business with a company owned smartphone, as most small businesses don’t, then you’re asking everyone in your business to use their personal phones for business purposes.

You’re relying on your employees personal devices to play a role in your company’s security policy

Now this might not be appropriate for your business.

Firstly, you might have strict rules in place which means your team can’t use any of their own devices for business reasons. This would be completely justified.

Secondly, I’ve known people who refuse to use their personal phones for any form of business activity – the phones belong to them after all. They might not want their personal mobiles having to be used in the workplace.

So in either of these scenarios, what other options do you have to use two-factor authentication in your business?

Some of our customers have adopted a small device, inexpensive device called a Yubikey from the company Yubico which can be used for two-factor authentication. These small devices cost around £35 and they remain the property of your business.

So, how do they work?

You enter your password for Microsoft 365 and then you plug the yubikey into a USB port in your laptop to provide the second factor of authentication.

So, a hacker couldn’t access your account without first having your username and password and then needing to also have your Yubikey.

So don’t let personal devices get in the way of avoiding implementing two-factor authentication for your business.

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