Understanding Two-Factor Authentication

Understanding Two-Factor Authentication is discussed in today’s insight.  However equally significant is the relevance to challenge why we need Two-Factor Authentication, questioning when did passwords alone become substandard?

What is Two-Factor Authentication?

Two-Factor Authentication, often presented as 2FA is a solution to safeguard your personal details, at the same time heightening your digital security.

Two-Factor Authentication works by adding an additional level of protection when accessing your online accounts, which affirms that the person who is trying to access your account is in fact you.

The most common method used is a one-time code, requested at each login attempt.

To illustrate… you enter your username/ email and your password, however before you can gain access to your account a one-time code will be sent you, usually via a text message.

Additionally, an even more sophisticated manner of Two-Factor Authentication uses a mobile app to send an approval notification to your phone.

This is common practice with financial apps, such as online banking.

What can 2FA protect against?

Two-Factor Authentication can help protect users against numerous common threats, including phishing, stolen passwords and brute-force attacks.

This is evidenced through protecting the user’s account which has that added layer of security.

Prior to access being granted 2FA requires the secondary validation, so regardless of the ‘hacker’ having attained your password, 2FA prevents them accessing your account.

Why are passwords alone no longer effective?

Passwords alone have become less effective in recent years.

Scarily, employee’s bad password habits can be one of the biggest threats to a business, especially when you consider employees password sharing, weak passwords, not updating passwords on request, amongst a myriad of other poor habits such as using the same password for both professional and personal accounts.

But what’s scarier is that even the most diligent users, with good password hygiene can still be the victim of a breach, which in an organisation can lead to the compromise of whole networks, not to mention causing a privacy breach for customer data.

Thought of the day:

How many of your passwords for your accounts are the same, for your social media, your email and multiple online shopping accounts?

In summary, we are still recognising the standard for account creation being the traditional username/ email combined with a password.

Despite the increase in cyber-attack and so much of both business and everyday life being carried out online it’s important that we are utilising the additional security methods available, such as Two-Factor Authentication are being facilitated, particularly when you consider the ease of adding the extra level of protection to user accounts.

If you are considering how to strengthen your cyber-security approach, or if you would like to discuss the many, bespoke solutions that Data Installation & Supplies can offer alongside our Technical Partners then please don’t hesitate to contact us on 01274 869 099, or info@disnorth.com.