A Beginner’s Guide To Two-Factor Authentication
Before we discuss two-factor authentication, let us take a look at what single-factor authentication is. In this type of account authentication, one uses just a single password. Here is an example of SFA: you open your bank’s website to sign into your online banking account. There, you enter the basic log-in credentials such as your username and password to access the account.
SFA is not considered to be very safe because hackers only require your password in order to access your account. It does not offer much security; in the event you lack more than five passwords for your total accounts, then you could just end up in trouble. Don’t use the same passwords for multiple accounts. Instead, we recommend that you make the credentials for each of your online accounts unique. Now that you have a better idea about what SFA is, let’s move on to two-way authentication and its advantages.
What Is Two-Factor Authentication?
Also known as multi-factor authentication, 2FA refers to a security improvement that enables presenting multiple pieces of factual information while signing into an account. A classic example of MFA is taking out money from the bank account through an automated teller machine (ATM). You will only be able to complete the transaction through an ATM by entering your card into it and then your personal identification number. To perform the ATM transaction, you use two things – your card and PIN.
Let’s put the bank account process mentioned above into context with the process of signing into an email account. In order to sign in, you usually just type the password as an additional piece of information that you are aware of. Therefore, it is not a two-factor authentication. However, if your email application asks for another detail, such as a one-time password, then it becomes 2FA. That OTP is the additional piece of information that you use to sign in. When there is another step unique to the user, it is regarded as the two-factor authentication.Now, what is unique in this context? Think of it as something that you only know, such as the PIN in the ATM example and the OTP in the email one.
Have you tried signing into your Gmail account on a new browser and Google asked for the OTP and you failed to log in because your phone was elsewhere? Google will send you the OTP at the time of the log-in attempt, but if you do not have the linked device with you then, you can’t sign in. This is what two-factor authentication does – it provides that added layer of security your account requires. Instead of the OTP, your two-way authentication could involve the use of fingerprint on an electronic device. Fingerprint is also a unique piece of information and each person has their own fingerprint.
It is a good idea to implement two-factor authentication for all businesses. As a cybersecurity course of action, every business should consider protecting all of their data, email accounts, and other precious digital assets.
In What Way Can Small-Scale Organizations Profit From 2FA?
To recap, two-factor authentication offers an extra layer of security for any account, whether it is personal or business-related. This makes it trickier for people with malicious intent, such as hackers, to access the related account. When an unauthorized party tries signing into your business’s banking account, which is protected with two-factor authentication, they won’t be able to do so unless they have your device.
As mentioned earlier, a message will be sent to the account owner’s phone. If the party lacks access to your device, it is very unlikely for them to hack into your account. Therefore, it pays to implement 2FA for all your sensitive business accounts. Work with an MSP (managed service provider), and they will be able to give you guidance on utilizing 2FA for specific programs. You have to deploy 2FA at whatever time it is possible, particularly to protect your business’s sensitive information.
It may be frustrating to work with another security layer and typing a PIN or code may be a cumbersome task. That said, it is better to have 2FA in place, instead of making your accounts vulnerable to hackers. After all, it just takes a few seconds to complete the log-in or business purchase through card via 2FA.