Are you wondering what is two factor authentication and does your business need it? Read on to find out the answers.
What is two factor authentication?
Two factor authentication, also known as 2FA, two-step verification or multi-factor authentication, is an extra layer of security and an essential addition to your cyber security protection.
Two factor authentication requires a user to input two different elements (typically a password plus one other) before being able to access an IT system – remote access to your network, entry to your website dashboard, or log on to email for example.
If you have online access to your bank account, you will probably be using two factor authentication to log on.
The two factors that are used to verify a user’s identity are:
- Something that the user knows, such as a password or a PIN code; and
- Something that the user has, typically a mobile phone, hardware token, or biometric (e.g. fingerprint).
The additional factor helps prevent hackers who have stolen passwords from gaining access to data as the password alone is insufficient.
Does your business need two factor authentication?
Technology has evolved at such a fast pace that cyber criminals have easy access to software that can crack and decipher passwords on a mass scale.
Your business security is also vulnerable to those employees who don’t take adequate care of their password practices – leaving passwords on sticky notes attached to their monitors or using weak passwords, for example.
In 2016, a study by Keeper into 10 million passwords leaked in data breaches revealed that more than 50% of people use the top 25 most common passwords, with 17% (almost one in five) of all users having “123456” as their password!
We recommend you use two-factor authentication to access any online or remote services used to store sensitive business data. These might include:
- Remote access to your company network
- Online data backup
- Cloud services holding sensitive data such as a CRM system
There are several ways that you can implement two-factor authentication in your business. It is important to find a solution that is going to work best for your situation. We recommend you seek advice from your IT provider first.
We provide a mobile-based two factor authentication solution which is easy to use and compatible with any phone supporting SMS messaging. If you’d like to find out more, please call us on 01392 796 779 or email us.