What is 2-Factor Authentication?

what is 2 factor authenticationIf you’ve ever enjoyed a good spy movie, you probably liked watching the spy sneak over a wall, past a fingerprint scanner, and through a locked door. But if you are concerned about securing data or financial information, you do not want someone sneaking past all of your security measures.

One way to prevent devices and data from being accessed by an unauthorized person is by using 2-Factor Authentication. In this post we’ll cover the basics of 2-Factor Authentication so you can learn if you need it for your business.

What is 2-Factor Authentication?

The type of security, known as 2-Factor Authentication (2FA) requires a password as well as another form of verification. Because of the need to secure systems against theft, more and more businesses are using 2-factor authentication. While most people assume they have strong passwords, hackers use many methods to break into systems. The use of 2-Factor Authentication can reduce the risk associated with mobile communications in the workplace

There are a wide variety of methods to protect your system from entry. Most hackers try to get in through an open internet connection, a stolen mobile device, or an employee allowing entry. Other methods of layered security are tokens, RFID card (microchip), and smartphone apps. A password is one of the easiest to set up for most technology. But many apps and platforms allow you to set up another way to verify your identity. There are a wide variety of software programs and apps available to set up 2-Factor Authentication.

Security Categories

Any security method uses one of three categories:

Knowledge: using something the user knows is a very common way to set up authentication. A password is one example. Other examples include personal information such as a pin number, social security number, a birthdate, or a former address.
Possession: mobile devices, computers, and other technology can be registered to specific users. Security systems can be set up to check that logins, data retrieval, or financial transactions originate from only registered devices.
Inherence Factor: use of elements that are unique to an individual such as an eyeball, fingerprint, face, or voice. Using these as authentication is the most effective means of security because these are nearly impossible to copy.

Any of these security methods are stronger when they are unique to the user. Some security measures, such as a code sent to your smartphone right after a password is entered, is easy to set up. Since most hackers try to break in remotely, this type of security keeps them out. The hacker would have to have access to your knowledge about yourself, your mobile devices, or you physically. Most cyber attacks are not this scary!

Disadvantages of 2-Factor Authentication

Having 2-Factor Authentication or even multilayer security is ideal to prevent cyber crime and hacking. However, it takes time to set up multiple security methods. This requires effort from both your IT department and each user. Entering in a passcode or having your fingerpritn checked every time you want to access an account can feel frustrating.

Advantages of 2-Factor Authentication

Strong security is worth the effort to protect businesses from loss, compromise, or network damage. The higher the level of risk your business faces, the more seriously you should look into using 2-factor authorization.

Beacon Telecom has experience dealing with security threats and can offer guidance as well as support in setting up additional security measures. Looking for help with your business’s mobile security or telecom infrastructure? Contact Beacon Telecom today to learn more about our services.

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