Secure access to web services and products is a constant challenge that large and small businesses contend with on a daily basis. For a while, single-factor authentication was used to access protected data, such as bank account information, service applications, and personal information. However, data breaches forced many businesses to add another layer of security through the implementation of a second authentication process or a two-factor authentication.
Two-factor authentication requires the presentation of two or more of the three independent authentication factors: a knowledge factor (something only the user knows), a possession factor (something only the user has), and an inherence factor (something only the user is). Still not many businesses have adopted this security process, may be due to a lack of knowledge or simply not knowing that such a process could easily be implemented.
Examples of accounts that will be better secured through two-factor authentication are bank and other payment accounts, email accounts, cloud storage accounts, and social media accounts.
To help you implement two-factor authentication, if you don’t already have it set up, you can use third party applications or software, like 1Password, LastPass, and RoboForm. These applications will allow you to use a master password to unlock unique hard-to-guess passwords for each site you access. They also help avoid duplicating passwords among sites, and remembers those strong, yet impossible to recall passwords that are recommended for use with high-sensitive data.
However, you should keep in mind that there are limitations to each solution, even to two-factor authentication. In fact, two-factor authentication attracts hackers simply because it is used by mainly high-value businesses. Also, malware is nowadays so advanced that a user may be tricked into approving a hacker’s transaction through the same authentication process without really knowing it. Finally, third-party authentication systems are also dependent on the security of the online business or manufacturer and in case that system is not appropriately secured, the whole authentication system is insecure.
The additional security offered by two-factor authentication is a smart choice for any business. And if you are a business owner, surely protecting your company through this process requires also protecting both your corporate accounts and those of your employees. When done right, two-factor authentication can help prevent illegal breaches that jeopardize business processes.