Two Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication (2FA) is an extra layer of security. It strengthens your login security and protects from hacking by requiring two methods, or factors, to verify a person’s identity.
The two factors are usually something you have and something you know. They can include:
- A unique username and password.
- A smartphone app to approve authentication requests.
- Your fingerprint or a retina scan.
Two-factor authentication reduces the risk of a cyber security hack as it eliminates the less sophisticated hacker community. It is one of the best ways to protect against remote attacks such as phishing, credential exploitation and other attempts to take over your accounts.
Without your physical device, remote attackers can’t pretend to be you in order to gain unauthorised access to corporate networks, cloud storage, financial information, etc.
Two-factor Authentication Methods
There are several two-factor authentication methods available. to you – two factor is so much more than just passcodes! Each has their own advantages, disadvantages and particular use in different scenarios.
Push Notifications – using a two-factor authentication mobile app, push notifications are sent to your smartphone every time there is an authentication request. The notification gives users the data they need to approve or deny the authentication request.
Hardware Tokens – this uses a small device that generates a new passcode, which you type into your two-factor prompt. This is a slightly cumbersome method of authentication, as users have to carry around an extra device to authenticate.
SMS Passcodes – a two-factor authentication app can generate new, unique passcodes for you to type into the two-factor prompt.