Why Every Business Needs Two-Factor Authentication Security
Technology has enabled hackers to test billions of password combinations per second, exposing 90% of all passwords. Facebook realized this when they discovered 600,000 imposters were attempting to access users' personal information every day using stolen passwords.
Companies such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Google decided that they needed extra layers of security to strengthen passwords and protect their users' data. The solution: two-factor authentication (2FA).
2FA Adds the Extra Security You Need
Two-factor authentication (2FA), also sometimes referred as multifactor authentication, is a method used to verify a user's identity when they are trying to access an application. In addition to a password, 2FA requires you to provide a second piece of information to confirm your identity.
The first step is to sign in to your account with a username and password. This is the first factor of the two-step process.
Unlike the ineffective security questions such as the name of your first pet or your school's mascot, the second piece of information used in 2FA is extremely hard for cybercriminals to acquire. The idea is to create a second factor that is unique to the user, which is often something they possess, like a smartphone, or even something biological such as a fingerprint or iris.
After you enter your credentials in step one, you will be prompted to add the second factor. Several ways of verification can be used, such as SMS verification, push notifications, etc.
Hacking a password is effortless, but acquiring a physical device that generates the second code or stealing biological features is not as easy, which is why 2FA is one of the most effective security approaches available.
2FA Goes Beyond Security to Improve Output
While the primary reason businesses implement 2FA is for the extra layers of security, the methodology of 2FA also enhances operational efficiencies and employee productivity.
Simply by requiring a second form of identification, there is a low probability that a hacker can successfully impersonate an employee and gain access to your system. If an employee loses a mobile device or a password is stolen, 2FA provides enough time for your company to remedy the issue before too much damage is done. Beyond these obvious mobile security benefits, 2FA also provides the enterprise with a few other advantages that affect your bottom line.
Employees are now mobile, working on their personal devices outside the office. As a result, they are more productive and businesses are reaping the rewards of this newfound flexibility.
2FA is an effective method to secure mobile devices where employees can safely access company-owned applications, data, shared documents and other systems from virtually any device without putting the company at risk. Corporate IT can rest assured that if a device is compromised, 2FA will make it really hard for anyone to gain illegal access.
Employee mobility has created a happier and more productive workforce, and 2FA is the best method to provide the security measure that reaches outside the firewall to make it all possible.
There are various ways 2FA can help your company to save money. The biggest is in preventing a data breach, which can cost a company up to $3 million. Beyond mitigating theft, there are two other ways 2FA can help you save money:
- 1. Reduced Help Desk Inquiries: Time is money and reducing the amount of time your IT expert is spending to reset passwords, can save the company a lot of money. According to HDI, at least 35-40% of help desk calls are related to password resets, which require an average of 20 minutes of the help desk technician's time to complete. 2FA gives employees a secure way to reset their own passwords, resulting in fewer calls and more productive employees.
2. Cloud-based 2FA: Some larger companies have implemented 2FA using hardware tokens (or "fobs") that employees carry around like a thumb drive. These tokens generate one-time passwords (OTP), but they are hard to manage and expensive as employees often lose them or keep them after they leave the company. Cloud-based tools like Auth0, provide soft tokens like Push Notifications and SMS, giving companies a new, cost-effective way to utilize 2FA.
Identity access management tools allow businesses to implement 2FA for their internal systems in the same way Google, Facebook and Twitter use it to address consumer concerns. Not only will you gain that added layer of security, but also enhance productivity, awareness and cost savings make 2FA a viable tool for your bottom line.
Empower Your Passwords, Improve Your Business
In the same way, we still use keys to unlock our doors, passwords are our preferred method of accessing our digital worlds. Passwords have been part of humanity for ages and are not going anywhere, but that doesn't mean we need to rely on them solely to protect our company's valuable assets.
2FA augments passwords in a unique way that not only adds an important layer of extra security but also enhances employee productivity helping your bottom line.