What is Two Factor Authentication (2FA) and Why You Need It
Today, security is of paramount importance to every business. A recent Verizon report found that 81% of hacking-related breaches leveraged either stolen and/or weak passwords to gain entry to a network. That’s why it’s critical that you implement security measures like using complex, difficult to crack passwords and for added protection, “Two-Factor Authentication” or 2FA.
Let’s take a look at what 2FA is, and why it’s an important security measure you should adopt for your business.
What is “Two-Factor Authentication?
Two-factor authentication is a process where a user must provide two different layers of authentication as identification to gain access to their email, web or network account. Typically, the user is required to enter their email address or user name along with the first layer of authentication – a password, and a second level of authentication which is often a user-generated token, or biometric identifier. Adding this layer of additional security along with a difficult to crack password can greatly protect your network security. 2FA is an easy way to boost your account’s armor to better fend off a cyberattack.
Types of Two-Factor Authentication
There are several types of two-factor authentication. They vary in ease of use and cost. Implementing any of them is an excellent way to improve the security of your personal and professional accounts.
- Text and Call Authentication – If you have a Google account, you’re probably familiar with T&C based authentication. You simply associate a mobile phone number with your account. Whenever you attempt to log on from an unrecognized device, you are prompted with the choice of receiving a text or phone call that will contain a one-time use password. Once entered, along with your user name and password, access is granted.
- Hardware Token – An older, effective method of 2FA. A one-time authentication code is generated by a key fob or metal card that is paired with a user. It cycles a new passcode every 30 to 60 seconds and the current passcode must be entered along with the user name and password. This is an effective method, but it can be expensive to outfit a lot of users.
- Biometric Authentication – This has become more common in recent years. Apple iPhones use fingerprints or face scans to unlock personal devices. Because it relies on the user to act as authentication, it’s an extremely reliable method.
The Benefits of 2FA
It’s extremely unlikely that someone who has stolen or purchased your password will be able to access your account if a second means of authorization is required. Often, you are notified if there is a suspicious attempt to access your account. Once notified, you can alert your provider that you’ve been compromised and quickly change passwords for any accounts that share the same user name and password.
2FA can help reduce the risk of exposure if a password is stolen or your email is compromised. If you’re ready to learn more, call us today. Let us show you all the benefits two-factor authorization can provide your business.