All You Need to Know About 2-Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication (also known as 2FA) is an additional security layer for your business – helping to address the vulnerabilities of a standard password-only approach. It is a method of confirming users’ claimed identities by using a combination of two different factors: 1) something they know, 2) something they have, or 3) something they are.

2-Factor Authentication
Using 2-factor authentication to verify your identity.

In today’s digital environment, the primary “username and password” approach to security is easy prey for cyber criminals. Many logins can be compromised in minutes, and private data (such as personal and financial details) is under increasing threat.

Multi-factor Authentication, also known as MFA or multi-step verification, adds another layer of security, supplementing the username and password model with a code that only a specific user has access to (typically sent to something they have immediately to hand). This authentication method can be easily summed up as a combination of “something you have and something you know”.

Back in the early days of authentication, organisations were reliant on hardware tokens to generate a secure passcode. The type you’d associate with online banking. But that solution was clumsy and prone to unforeseen expenses – with tokens frequently lost, broken or expiring.

Do i need 2-factor authentication?

Two-factor and Multi-factor authentication solutions are used by businesses of all sizes – seeking to keep confidential data secure. They can help to lower the likelihood of identity theft, as well as phishing scams, because criminals cannot compromise logins with usernames and password details alone.

Authentication solutions can be shunned (or cause friction) if they require users to carry fobs around. This is where tokenless solutions come into their own. They make life easier for users (and for the IT departments who have to manage them). Tokenless solutions are faster, quicker and cheaper to set up and simple to maintain across many networks.

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