You’re driving around DC and realize you need some cash. You pull up to an ATM. Before you can access the money in your bank account, however, you must use a card and enter a personal identification number (PIN). Or you head to an e-commerce site to buy some presents. You enter your password — but your cellphone buzzes. The site has texted you a code you need to log in to start shopping. These are examples of two-factor authentication or 2FA. This is a form of security that requires users to show at least two — and on occasion three — forms of identity to log on or access a network.
What Is 2FA?
It’s a newer, more modern form of cybersecurity. Google conducted a study and found that adding a phone number recovery to accounts, and then sending text messages to that account whenever someone logs in, blocked 100% of automated bots, 96% of bulk phishing attacks, and 76% of targeted attacks.
When it comes to securing data online, passwords can be ineffective, especially if people use similar ones across multiple accounts or use birthdays and any other personal information that can be accessed online.
As its name implies, two-factor authentication includes another layer of protection against cybercriminals.
Here are the three factors of authentication that make life tough for anyone trying to compromise your data:
This is something only you would know, such as a PIN number, password or in some instances, a passphrase. This is the easiest one to steal, which is why other factors are required.
It’s rare that a hacker can steal your password and something like a bank card or key fob, which is what makes this factor so important. Other examples include an app on your phone or a software token.
Otherwise known as what you are, this is probably the hardest factor to compromise. This is verified by anything unique to you physically, such as a retinal scan, fingerprint, or voice/facial recognition.
4. Mix it Up
Authentication is effective only when using two different factors rather than multifactors. For example, requiring users to present both a fingerprint and a key fob ensures far more security than asking them to enter two passwords.
Partnering With Strong Security
Two-factor authentication is the sophisticated security businesses need to stave off cybercriminals, who are becoming more and more audacious by the day. Old, cookie-cutter forms of security won’t cut it anymore. The more layers, the better. And requiring users to add various forms of identification is a big step toward propelling your security forward. Reach out to us today to learn more about the cybersecurity we offer and book a no-risk, no-cost security assessment. We’ll evaluate the state of your security and work with you on how to fix it.