What are the benefits of two-factor authentication?

An Extra Step for Safety

In the real world an extra amount of caution can save you. Before you pull out of the driveway you double check to see if your children are buckled in safely. You re-check theTwo-Factor Authentication doors of your home before going to bed. A computer or a network of many computers in Toronto is the potential target of hackers around the world. While you will never see these individuals or know who they are, these criminals are looking for a way into your home or business. As you sit in a calm and peaceful office in Toronto, hackers sitting in coffee shops, boiler rooms, basements or using any free public assess WIFI are busy looking for a way inside your company. Two-factor authentication or 2FA adds an extra level of security to block thieves.

Who is using Two-factor Authentication?

It’s possible to enable this type of authentication for a number of websites you might log into on a regular basis. These include:

  • Twitter
  • Google
  • Dropbox
  • Microsoft
  • Apple

As you log into your account on these familiar sites you will find entering your password is only one factor in your logging in. Another factor is performed to make your account more secure. Entering your password is considered a single-factor authentication. With this second step you will need to have two out of three types of credentials in order to access your account. Most people are familiar with needing to supply this information when using credit cards or setting up banking accounts. These are known as knowledge and possession factors. These include:

  • Fingerprint or voice print
  • Phone number, email address, or credit card number
  • A personal ID number determined during the setup for the account

Other information in a multiple step process might include the name of a parent, a residence, the name of a pet or other unique information only the true owner of an account would know.

How Does Two-Factor Authentication Increase Security?

Hacker’s rarely have time on their side. As with any criminal a hacker needs to move quickly and quietly. Any process that slows this individual’s progress or draws attention to the hacker’s actions is a possible method of deterring them. While it’s true that malware or phishing can result in a hacker’s having information about an account holder they are still slowed by the multiple levels of protection.

An Evolving Process

Malware writers, email phishing scam creators, and hackers have few incentives to stop. In some countries they are free to commit their crimes with little threat of law enforcement stopping them. Hackers also have many motives. Money, political revenge, and bragging points among other hackers top the list of reasons for breaking into an account. Every major success emboldens others to make future attempts. For this reason levels of security and two-factor authentication will also continue evolving to stop them.

Two-factor or Multi-factor Authentication

The biggest benefits of two-factor authentication involving knowledge and possession factors are that these are easy to setup, but can still deter the hacker. Even knowing a password will not guarantee a criminal access to a computer or a network in Toronto. Accounts are better protected, but allow those who have genuine authority a fast and simple method of logging on to their account.

Smart Card authentication