As businesses use more and more web applications, their productivity is increasing while their security is being reduced. With traditional software, it was limited to the computer it was installed on and you could integrate its security with your company's overall network security.
However, with hosted applications, all one needs is a user name, password and access to the Internet to access the hosted application and company data. You can use this information or unauthorized users can use this information!
If this scenario makes you nervous, there is a solution.
Tricipher's myOneLogin provides two factor authentication for web applications, and a free service for Google Apps.
Their two factor authentication includes a user name and password AND the second factor includes encrypted browser cookies or browser certificates (X.509 digital certificate).
This means that you can authenticate your online session with something you know (your user name and password) and something you have (an encrypted cookie or browser certificate), digitally connected to your computer system.
If you need to access your hosted applications through several different computer systems, myOneLogin has authentication methods for these scenarios as well. As your business increases its use of hosted applications, it is absolutely critical that you ensure you protect your hosted data as much as you can. Simple passwords and user names are not enough. You need at least two-factor authentication to minimize the success of hackers and unauthorized users to access your data.
Ramon Ray is editor and tech evangelist for Smallbiztechnology.com