2 Factor Authentication: What Is It and Why Should You Care?

Since the dawn of the internet and the dot-com boom, hackers and cybercriminals have targeted unsuspecting individuals and businesses in attempts to access and use valuable data to steal from their victims.  

An example of this includes hacking email and bank accounts to steal money, commit fraud and even identity theft.  

Of course, long gone are the days where your password could simply be ‘password’, as most online accounts will require you to set a strong password, which usually includes:  

  • A capital letter 
  • A special character 
  • At least 1 number 
  • And be of a minimum length 

However, despite passwords becoming more cryptic and harder for us to remember ourselves, cyber criminals’ tactics have evolved, and even the most complex passwords can be bypassed via a brute force attack.  

Did you know: The password ‘123456’ is still used by 23 million account holders  

What Is 2 Factor Authentication? 

2 Factor Authentication, also known as Multi-Factor Authentication, is an authentication process where a user must authenticate their identity twice before gaining access to an account or device, such as a bank account or email account.  

This process adds an extra layer of security to the account and should be your first line of defence against brute force attacks.  

How Does 2 Factor Authentication Work? 

Once you have chosen a password for your account, you’ll be prompted to provide at least two further pieces of evidence which will be requested every time you attempt to log in.  

2FA credentials fall into three categories: 

Something You Know 

  • Password 
  • Personal security questions (for example your mother’s maiden name or favourite pizza topping) 
  • One-time passcodes (OTPs) 

Something You Have 

  • OTP generated via an app 
  • OTP sent via SMS or email 
  • Key fobs, USB devices or security keys 
  • Software tokens 

Something You Are 

  • Fingerprint 
  • Retina or iris scanning  
  • Voice recognition 

Once you have entered your password, which is often the first factor, you will be asked to authenticate your identity via a second factor listed above.  

Unless the hacker is your evil twin, knows extremely personal details about you or has your connected device, their login attempt will fail.   

 

Infographic showing how to log into an email account with 2 factor authentication enabled

Protect Your Business with 2 Factor Authentication 

With an ever-increasing threat of cyber-attacks from both domestic and international hackers, there’s no time like now to ensure your accounts and devices are secure with 2FA.   

Hacks and security breaches are devastating for businesses. That’s why as IT support and cybersecurity specialists, our team are on hand to ensure businesses like yours are protected. 

 Don’t make a hacker’s job easy, enable 2FA today!  

Talk to our team on 01225 685783 or email us at info@systemagic.co.uk and we will be happy to help.  

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