If you don’t know, I’m a big fan of two-factor authentication. I often talk about it integrated into your web applications access points, like wp-admin in WordPress and administrator in Joomla, but in this post I’m going to talk about leveraging it with your SSH connections.
When configuring your server access points it’s important you enable Public Key authentication in the place of passwords. Mainly because, unlike passwords, you can’t exactly brute force the access point with the keys enabled. There is also a functional aspect to it, not having to worry about passwords is great. Once you have it configured you can quickly access any of your boxes without having to remember or store the passwords. An example of where this would have been in your favor is the SSHD rootkit outbreak in February. With public keys enabled, those affected would have been spared compromises as passwords would not have been stolen.