Digital Security: The Importance of Two-Factor Authentication

Nowadays one thing that concerns electronic data storage is security. With the steady rise in the security breaches, digital crime and internet fraud, you have to be extra cautious and vigilant about your data on the internet. One side, using strong passwords and frequent changing of the same is recommended for protecting your data. But the hackers are hungry for passwords. They might steal your password and use it or sell it to use your bank details and personal information. In such scenario an extra layer of protection is what any one looks for. Two-factor authentication solution serves the purpose by providing a protection shell for your information and keeping the cyber thieves at bay.

What is 2FA?

The two factor authentication is also known as two-step verification. It combines your password and username with your phone or the physical security key like your fingerprint. When online, there are many websites which you login by just using your username or password. This is one-step verification. But when using two-step verification you have one-step verification after entering the username and password. The site sends a text message to your mobile phone with a six-digit code, after entering the first set of credentials. This code is often called as an authenticator or a passcode or verification code. Only when you enter this code you will be granted access to the website.

As many are adapting 2FA method, a lot of companies and sites provide two factor authentication services.

Importance of 2FA

As mentioned above, gone are the days when you trusted blindly on your password to protect your details. There are lots of ways in which a password can be breached. Anyone can memorize your password or there are malwares to crack it. It can also be susceptible to credential stuffing and brute force attack by hackers to break into your account. But by enabling two-factor authentication your account can be automatically protected from these automated login attacks.

Protects you from phishing email

Two-factor authentication protects you against the phishing mails. When someone sends you a dodgy email and wants you to log in using your Google or Facebook account and password into a fake account, two factors can protect you. Only legitimate site will send you authentication code. There are different types of 2FA which benefits you with increased level of protection.  One method of protection is better than other method of protection.

The various 2FA for data protection

There are four main types of two factor verification which follows below based on the degree of effectiveness

Text message code: It is the most common form of code that is sent via SMS. It is easy to get started. It is the least effective method compared to the other 2FA. The hackers can exploit the weaknesses of the network and get hold of your code because SMSs are not encrypted. But as far as your phone is with you it can prevent breaching to some extent.

App code: You have to install an app on your Smartphone which will receive a code from the site’s 2FA providers while logging in. As the code is sent via HTTPS connection, someone snooping in before you get the code is impossible. 

Biometric verification: A fingerprint scan or iris scan or a facial recognition is employed to verify that it is you. This is used in an enterprise setting. These are less common but highly efficient.

Physical key: The strongest of all the other methods. A physical key like a USB stick is used to log in to your account. The cryptographically encrypted unique key in the USB will open the account. Even if someone gets your password they cannot access your account without the key.

Bottom line

2 Factor authentication has come really handy when considering the security of your account. Though it is not the ultimate panacea, but it is a best way to ensure security. Enable 2FA for your services from the best 2FA service provider.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s