New Device, Same You, New Problem
You’re still the same person you always were, but when you get a new device, you’re a different person as far as some login procedures are concerned. You need to get back to basics in setting up account access. It’s a more acute problem as we do more work outside the office.
We recently got a call from a client who had trouble logging into a work system through a VPN with two-factor authentication (2FA). Nobody had changed any of the login information, so it was all baffling until the client mentioned they had a new phone.
Another client called because they couldn’t get into their email. Again, they had a new phone.
These incidents highlight the good and the bad of multiple authentication steps. The good is that they’re based on the device being used to verify the right of the person to access an account. That means a hacker halfway around the world can’t use their computer to get in. The bad is that you have to take the time to reconfigure all your access info. (Hey, we’re really sorry for the inconvenience.)
Because both cases involved clients with new cell phones, we had to invalidate their old cell phones. We registered one client as a new user and registered a new cell phone number for the other. These are essential steps everyone needs to remember to take as you get new devices.
And because all the 2FA steps in common use are tied to devices, it’s a good idea to make sure your devices require some extra steps to unlock them. Many people use a four- or six-digit PIN, and more people are going to biometrics. While nothing is impossible, even if someone knows your online login info and has your device, they can’t access your accounts if they can’t unlock the device.
If you or your employees are getting new devices, we can help you make sure that they have access to email and online accounts and protect them from unauthorized users. The process isn’t difficult, but it does involve diligence to check all the boxes in the setup process. Call us – 973-433-6676 – or email us if you have questions or need help in going through the process.