Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

Passwords are one of the most basic security measures, yet, with their growing number and complexity, it is becoming challenging to manage and use them safely. You can strengthen your passwords, and your businesses’ passwords with simple additional solutions such as two-factor authentication

5 min read

5 min read

What is two-factor authentication?

To better protect the passwords of your organization's employees, use of two-factor authentication (2FA) is recommended. This verifies the account holder’s identity with a one-time passcode – something the user has – in addition to the username and password – something the user knows – thus protecting access to company systems even in cases where the credentials are leaked or stolen. 

As SMS and mobile devices are frequently subject to malware attacks, modern 2FA solutions refrain from using SMS verification and instead opt for push notifications, as they are more secure as well as user-friendly. To further increase the security of the authentication process, organizations can add biometry – something the user is – by implementing multi-factor authentication (MFA). 

How does two-factor authentication (2FA) work?

Two-factor authentication generally uses one of three methods to verify your account – a physical token, an SMS, or an authenticator app. This generates a unique one-time passcode (OTP) which is only usable once and expires after a short period of time. Without entering the code alongside your account details, the login will fail. Jake Moore, ESET Security Specialist, explains how the OTP keeps your account secure:

“That way even if someone does obtain your username and password they are unable to guess the random generated code and unable to access your account, giving you time to change your compromised password.” 1

This simple two-step verification is an extremely effective way to strengthen the traditional username and password combination, giving you and your company additional peace of mind.

[1] - Why you need 2FA on all your accounts 

Why should your business care about two-factor authentication?

It will take you a few extra seconds to login, but the benefits of enabling 2FA will far outweigh the inconvenience of recovering your stolen details from a data breach.

As the number of cyberattacks on businesses continues to rise, usernames, emails and passwords can be easily lost or stolen – in some cases, you may not even be aware they have been compromised. Using two-factor authentication protects access to company systems even in cases where the credentials are leaked or stolen.

While 2FA isn’t infallible, Mark James, ESET IT Security Specialist, stresses the merits of using two-factor authentication with as many websites and accounts as possible:

“Whilst we can’t 100% protect against data loss, we can stack the odds in our favour and not the criminal’s.

“With so many companies understanding the importance of protecting your data from being compromised it’s certainly something you should have configured for all your financial logins, as well as any social media or cloud data accounts where available.” 1

[1] 2FA: An easy win for security

ESET’s powerful two-factor authentication protects passwords

ESET Secure

Single-tap, mobile-based authentication provides help in securing your data in a hassle-free way in addition to meeting required compliances. It employs user-friendly push notifications for both Android and iOS, has an easy management, and fast roll-out within 10 minutes. Try now and see how it works.

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