In this age of online accounting and cloud storage, it is more important than ever to make sure your business is secure against the threats of cyber crime. Two factor authentication is an integral piece in this equation. It can be a powerful tool for protecting your business’s online presence and data. Maybe you haven’t heard of this means of protecting your business or you are unsure of how it works. With this in mind, let’s take a look at how to secure your business with two factor authentication.
Let’s start at the beginning by defining our terms. Two factor authentication is essentially taking an additional measure beyond the usual password in order to secure your account. In other words, your password is one factor and, let’s say, a single-use code via text message is another factor. This allows for an added level of security for your account and can be incredibly useful for guarding sensitive information from crooks and other cyber criminals. CNET describes 2FA this way:
Two-factor authentication adds a second level of authentication to an account log-in. When you have to enter only your username and one password, that’s considered a single-factor authentication. 2FA requires the user to have two out of three types of credentials before being able to access an account.
Two factor authentication has actually been around in some form or another longer than you may realize. 2FA can be seen in action as early as credit cards asking to enter in a zip code. This is an example of two levels of authentication. You have the first factor, the card itself and the second factor, the zip code.
Though two factor authentication isn’t necessarily hard, it is slightly more complicated than simply having a single level of authentication. However, more difficult isn’t necessarily a bad thing. When you consider the fact that you are trying to guard against potential hackers, adding that extra level of security is actually worth it. If something is more difficult for you, that means it is also more difficult for a cyber criminal.
So how well does 2FA work? Is it vulnerable to hackers? Though 2FA is effective, it is not without its vulnerabilities. You may be vulnerable to attack through account recovery when someone gets around 2FA by pretending to be you and gains access to your account. That is why 2FA should not be seen as an end-all solution. Though it is an effective and helpful tool, it should be used alongside other tools to ensure you have the greatest level of protection against unwanted security breaches.
So does two factor authentication actually make a difference? Can it actually protect me against a data breach? Though it isn’t recommended as your only solution to data security, it certainly does make a difference. It doesn’t eliminate the problem altogether. However, it does deter a whole group of hackers that would otherwise get in.
Two factor authentication is becoming much more common these days and as such, measures are being taken to make it significantly more user friendly. As more and more businesses begin implementing 2FA, the technology will be perfected and become even more affordable to integrate into your systems. All in all, the future is looking good for 2 factor authentication.
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