Two-Factor Authentication: Improve Security
Why is two-factor authentication an essential part of your cybersecurity strategy?
Two-factor authentication (2FA) creates an additional layer of protection for your secure services, applications, and data. With 2FA, you make it more difficult for hackers to access valuable information and infiltrate your company’s networks. Here’s a closer look at 2FA and how it works.
What Is Two-Factor Authentication?
2FA delivers an extra protective layer when authenticating access to apps and services. With single-factor authentication, you typically enter one credential, usually a password, to gain access. With 2FA, you need to submit two forms of credentials to gain access.
Passwords are just one type of authentication factor. It’s considered a known factor because the user creates the credential. Here are three basic types of elements used in authentication:
- Knowledge-Based. Like usernames and passwords, these are things that are determined by the user. PINs and security questions like, “What was your high school mascot?” and “Who was the best man at your wedding?” are other examples of knowledge-based factors.
- Possession. These factors are things a user must have in their possession to log in. Examples include a key fob, an employee or student ID, or one-time password (OTP) tokens. OTP tokens are often used in 2FA and can include randomly generated codes emailed or texted to a user or smartphone apps that generate such codes
- Inherence. Such factors are biological traits used to gain access, such as fingerprints used to unlock smartphones, retinal scans, iris scans, facial recognition, and voice recognition
Authentication tools are used in multiple contexts. It’s the technology behind entering a ZIP code at the gas pump, unlocking a smartphone with a finger, or logging into a business server.
The best 2FA systems use a combination of knowledge-based, possession, and inherence factors. While 2FA may be perceived as an inconvenience by some users, they are effective at keeping hackers at bay.
How Do Businesses Use Two-Factor Authentication?
There are many ways to use 2FA for your business.
Internally, 2FA is an effective safeguard for providing access to company apps, files, and data. Companies also use 2FA, both internally and externally, to validate users accessing secure website features, customer portals, applications, VPNs, and web forms. The process also allows for safer access to cloud web services and web servers.
What Are the Advantages of Two-Factor Authentication?
Here are some of the core business benefits of using 2FA security solutions:
- Improved Security. The security benefits of 2FA are evident. Each additional authentication layer makes it more difficult for hackers to impersonate users and gain access to sensitive systems.
- Reduced Help-Desk Costs. With automated 2FA generation and support services, you can free up resources for user support. Many help-desk calls are for password issues; by automating these authentication tasks, you free up support staff for more critical work.
- Enhanced Productivity. Consider your mobile workforce, which often is using personal devices on less-secure WiFi networks. While 2FA requires a few extra seconds of work, it gives remote employees reliable and secure access to data and systems.
- Fraud Prevention. Your business needs to keep employee and customer data protected. Failing to do so can mean running afoul of regulatory mandates and an increasingly complex set of laws governing data privacy.
- Improved Customer Relations. 2FA demonstrates your organization’s commitment to security. Show that you value your commitment to privacy and security.
In these challenging times, Integrated365 is here to help with your cybersecurity needs, from 2FA and password protection to data security and business continuity planning. Learn more about our cybersecurity services for your Dallas or Ft. Worth business by contacting us today.