Most of the time, the only thing that keeps malicious users out of an account is the combination of username and password. Unfortunately, cyber criminals are becoming increasingly adept at gaining access to personal data and working out how to crack through usernames and passwords.
Enter 2 factor authentication.
What is 2 Factor Authentication?
A username and password only offer a single barrier to entry. If that username and password are compromised, a cybercriminal can gain access – this is a single-factor authentication system. As you can probably guess, 2-factor authentication might also be known as multi-factor authentication (MFA), as it can have multiple layers of security checks apart from username and password. In addition, this type of authentication requires something else.
Two Factor authentication combines two of these three factors.
- Something the user knows, such as a PIN or secondary password.
- Something the user owns, such as a mobile phone that can be sent a unique code each time access is required.
- A part of the user’s biology, such as their fingerprint or retina.
So, why should you adopt 2 factor authentication?
The most immediately obvious benefit is also the most important: 2 factor authentication significantly improves security. A password can be lost or hacked. Some people will even leave them written down, and it’s common for people to use the same password and username across multiple platforms. With 2 factor authentication, you’ll add another line of defence.
Improved security is far from the only advantage that comes with 2 factor authentication. You’ll also allow different users to log in to a shared system or database, something that is becoming increasingly necessary with more and more people working remotely. With employees able to access critical systems on the go, these business challenges will be solved and productivity is going to improve.
There are quite a few tools that business owners can use to improve their security, but many of them cost a pretty penny. More expensive security tools can be ideal for companies responsible for handling extremely sensitive data, but 2 factor authentication is perfect for covering most security needs without breaking the bank. Installing one-time password generation software onto your employee’s phones, for example, is quick, easy, and very inexpensive.