What is Two-Factor Authentication and Why Do You Need It for Security

Login attempt requiring two-factor authentication

You may have encountered two-factor authentication before and thought that it was annoying to deal with. However, two-factor authentication provides value and security protection for your online accounts. People tend to make passwords that they believe to be strong but in reality, are easily guessed. Read here about our blog that talks about the importance of passwords. Hackers can breach your information by guessing your password or using phishing attempts to leak password details from you. Two-factor authentication creates a second wall of protection to prevent hackers from logging into your accounts easily. Let’s take a further look into what two-factor authentication is and why it is important for security reasons.

What is Two-Factor Authentication?

Two-Factor Authentication, also referred to as 2FA, is an identity and access management security method that forces users to provide two forms of identification to access their accounts. Two-factor authentication is most commonly seen with sensitive information accounts.

The way two-factor authentication works is with the use of two types of information. The user’s password and then after successfully logging in, a one-time code sent to the user via text or email. Entering the code sent to you completes the second and final step of two-factor authentication.

As we know, the main purpose for two-factor authentication is for heightened security purposes, but how much security does it truly provide? Let’s take a deeper look into the reasons why every company should have two-factor authentication security on accounts that contain important and sensitive information.

Why Do You Need Two-Factor Authentication for Security

Now that we know what two-factor authentication is, let’s discuss why it is so important for security purposes across the web and what benefits it provides for users.

 Two-Factor authentication prevents hackers and unwanted visitors from entering an account if they were able to steal or retrieve password information. Two-factor authentication not only stops hacking attempts in their tracks but also informs you if an attempt did occur and provide you with the knowledge that your password is compromised. The benefits that two-factor authentication provides are endless. This security method allows users to retrieve verification codes on their devices in the form of text or call and provides identity verification for businesses. Another great feature and benefit of two-factor authentication is that it involves the user in the password process. This gives the user a sense of security and a safe environment but also relates to the process of letting the user know whether the password is secure or not when a 2FA prompt appears.

The most popular methods of two-factor authentication include:

  • Hardware tokens: Businesses can provide employees with a device that generates codes every few seconds or minutes. This is the oldest method.
  • Push notification: This method requires no password. It sends a signal to your device to either approve/deny or accept/decline user access to your website or app.
  • SMS messaging: This method sends a code via text to a trusted device. The user then has the opportunity to interact with text and use the one-time code.
  • Voice-based authentication: This method is similar to push notifications, instead it prompts the user to press a key or state their name to identify themselves over the phone.
Phones receiving two-factor authentication messages.

In a digital world where there is always the threat of hackers, you should never rely on a single-step method for protecting your sensitive information. Two-factor authentication is becoming more essential for users and an effective method for security purposes. If you have not yet implemented 2FA, it may be time to start thinking about it.

Key Takeaways

You’ve probably experienced two-factor authentication before but may have never realized how important it is for security purposes. Although it can be annoying in certain scenarios, that is for good reason. It’s intended to keep out unwanted users and hacking attempts to gain access to your accounts. While a business should not solely rely on 2FA for security purposes, it does provide strength to your overall security systems. If you ever have the opportunity to include two-factor authentication in your security procedures, we highly recommend you do so.

Here at Innovative Global Vision, we provide many services to businesses across the country that deal with website hosting, security, and marketing. If you or someone you know needs guidance and expertise within the digital world, we have you covered. Contact us and let’s see how we can help you.

Additional Reading

Stuart Silcox
March 8, 2023

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