How 2-Factor Authentication Helps Cyber Security?

We live in a golden age of technology and the benefits that come along with it. Most of us possess cell phones and laptops which are valuable devices that we wish to protect. We do this by either locking them away in our homes or covering them with material to protect their delicate nature. Another way of protecting our devices is by putting passwords on them to ensure that no one gets access to our personal data. Since 2019 is the age of multiple devices and even more passwords, it can get frustrating, especially when security breaches still take place.

Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a type of protective system which adds a second step to all your login processes. It has been regarded as a fantastic way of getting optimal protection for your accounts and devices. It works simply as once you have put in your initial password and username, you will be asked to reconfirm with a code.

What is 2FA?

This is a two-step verification process, also known as dual-factor authentication, which allows users to give their private data maximum security. It involves the provision of two different authentication methods so that there is a double surety that the person trying to access and account or device is authorized to do so. The security token or biometric factor which provided after the password is what ensures that there is no breach or misuse of information.

Single Factor Authentication is Not Enough

The Data Breach Investigations Report 2017 showed that around 81% of breaches were because of stolen passwords. There are many issues which come with only relying on usernames and passwords to login or accessing data. Passwords are tricky as they can be stolen through scams or data breaches and will result in huge and irreparable losses. 2FA is different as it adds an additional level of security which makes it more difficult to get hacked or breached. A lot of people do not think that they can be victims of credential stuffing or any other sort of attacks but it is better to be safe than sorry. Automated logins by unauthorized personnel can be avoided easily by 2FA. 

A List of Authentication Factors

The adoption of certain authentication factors is what can affect the overall security of your system. These include:

  • Knowledge which the user has, such as passwords and PIN codes
  • Possession of either the user’s IC card, security token or their personal devices
  • Biometric factors, which include something that matches a user’s description or attributes
  • Location, which can be denoted from the place where an authentication was attempted

Different Kinds of 2FA

  • SMS Codes

Users are automatically sent text messages to their phone numbers when an authentication attempt takes place. This contains a number that is unique so that there is no chance of replication. The token code can then be inputted to verify the user and give them full access to a device or account.

  • Email Protection

When you are trying to recover an account, 2FA comes to your rescue with email protection. It can reset your password by giving you a temporary code that you can use to log in. after that, you can change your password to a new one and have access to your account or device without any hassle.

  • App Verification

You can have codes generated with the help of application on your smartphone, like Google Authenticator, which can add all your accounts to one place and allow you to access them in case you forget your password.

  • Physical Tokens

Although this was a more popular method before the invention of the smartphone, it is still quite effective. A small device give codes similar to authentication apps on your phone and can be kept with the user at all times. You have to keep track of this device and cannot lose it so a safe location for storage is recommended.

The Problem with 2FA

As far as document security systems go, 2FA may be quite effective but it is not the end all solution to cybercrime. While you will have an enhanced and improved security system, there are still some underlying components which can weaken your safety. The hardware tokens will depend on individual responsibility and if that is lost, so is your private info. A massive breach of 2FA was seen in 2011 where SecurID authentication tokens of a big company were hacked into. Password takeovers are still common and can be bypassed by attackers so that original users lose control over their personal data.

In Conclusion

2FA needs to be looked at as an investment in the security of your information and your assets. A lot of consumers are readily trying to protect biometrics by implementing 2FA and this is allowing them to have more peace of mind. Save some time today for years’ worth of protection in the future.

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