Two-factor authentication as we know is an extra layer of security beyond your username and password. It verifies that the login request is coming from the authenticated user. In one way or another, you have used two-factor authentication without even realizing it. Anytime you are prompted to enter a code that was sent to your email or phone, you’ve completed a step in multi-factor authentication.
Outlook two factor authentication is essential to user security because it mitigates the risks associated with compromised passwords. Even if a username and password is compromised, a hacker will not be able to access your account as they would not have approval at the second factor.
Two-factor authentication helps your organization maintain a strong security posture as it regularly involves users in the process of remaining secure. It also creates an environment where users are knowledgeable about cybersecurity and can understand their own digital safety. When a 2FA notification is sent to the user’s authenticated device, they’ll have to think to themselves “Did I request that?” or “Is someone attempting to access my account?”. Two-factor authentication creates a partnership between users and administrators.
How Does 2FA Work?
Different 2FA methods may have a different set-up process, but generally all follow the same type of workflow.
2FA transactions typically happen like this:
- The user logs in to the website or service with their username and password.
- The password is validated by an authentication server, and the user is prompted to input their second factor
- The authentication server sends a unique code to the user’s second-factor device.
- The user confirms their identity by approving the additional authentication from their second-factor device.
Two-factor authentication is made to secure your user’s access in any setting. There are many ways to implement 2FA but you need to find one that works best for your organization. Securing your 2FA can be done with methods such as SMS passcodes, one-time passcodes, email notifications, and authenticator apps. It can also include authentications such as biometric authentication, passwordless authentication, Single-sign on, etc.
Factor Authentication and Secure Access
Deployment of two-factor authentication mitigates the risk of a cyber breach to a great extent. It limits the effects of some of the most common attacks and limits the amount of stolen credentials to private information. Some methods that cybercriminals use to steal people’s login credentials include:
- Phishing emails
- The exploitation of vulnerabilities in the system
- Malware infections to obtain and steal passwords
- Brute force attacks
If two-factor authentication has been successfully deployed, then a cyber attacker performing any one of these attacks will not be able to take control of the company’s system as they would need access to the second authentication method.
2FA secures access control as it is a strategic element in following the best practices for cyber security. While 100% security doesn’t exist, two-factor is your best option in protecting yourself against cyber attackers. It also helps protect the vulnerabilities and prevent any access points from being compromised.
Two-factor authentication fills in the gaps in an organization. With a second-factor authentication implemented in your organization, you’re ensuring that all access points are protected. When you’re securing your access, you need to make sure that every user has 2FA implemented and not just certain departments. Organizations with a stronger security posture tend to be better equipped when it comes to data breaches or ransomware attacks. With two-factor authentication, even if your username or password is compromised, you can still guarantee security. Your employees will feel safe knowing that their access is strong, safe, and secure.