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Why do we need Two Factor Authentication (2FA)?

April 14, 2017
Two factor authentication
Two factor authentication

Everyone has heard about Yahoo email being hacked. There are many other cases of email and other systems that have been hacked that have not been made public.

 

A User name and password has been great in the past to connect to email and other systems; but the issue is that the passwords and user names must be stored in a database to be accessible by the users.

Many solutions are now offering Two Factor Authentication (2FA). 2FA is made up of three things.

  • Something you know (Passwords, PIN, Token)
  • Something you have (Cell phone, Other Email, Hard/Soft Token)
  • Something you are (Finger Print, Retina)

In most cases, the first factor is your user name and password, and the second factor is a code (usually 6 digits) sent to either a cell phone (SMS) or a separate email address. In more secure and complex systems, a biometric or a hardware token is utilized which can increase costs significantly.

Two factor authentication makes it significantly more difficult to hack your email or systems because of the second factor. This will become more prevalent soon, as systems are being hacked more frequently.

 

A variety of different systems can utilize 2FA authentication including:

  1. Office 365
  2. Microsoft Active Directory
  3. Google G-Suite
  4. Specialized business applications
  5. Banking
  6. Backup systems
  7. Remote Access



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