What is two-factor authentication
In a world where cybercrime and online fraud are becoming increasingly common, many companies that exchange sensitive information online are well aware of the importance of data security.
Nowadays, standard security procedures requiring only a simple username and password are no longer enough to guarantee data confidentiality. Criminals are increasingly better equipped to circumvent them.
To provide a better level of sensitive data protection, new authentication strategies have therefore been developed. Among these, two-factor authentication is undoubtedly one of the most effective and easy to implement.
What 2-factor authentication means and how it works
Two-factor authentication, sometimes called two-step verification or 2FA, is a secure login process in which the user must provide two different elements before being allowed to continue.
This strategy provides a higher level of protection than single factor authentication (SFA) methods, where the user only needs to provide one piece of information, usually a password or access code. Since knowing the victim’s password is not enough to pass the authentication test, a person’s securely exchanged files or online accounts are much more secure.
Two-factor authentication has long been used to control access to sensitive systems and data in organizations across many industry sectors. Online service providers are also increasingly using it to protect their users’ personally identifiable information.
Different types of authentication factors that can be required
The authentication factors that can be required when requesting access can take different forms, creating unique combinations that fraudsters cannot easily duplicate.
This type of factor is certainly the most frequently required when requesting access. It consists of information that only the user should have. Passwords and personal identification numbers (PINs) fall into this factor category.
The possession factor consists of an object that the user needs to have with him when making his request for information access. This could be a token or a security card, for example.
This type of identification factor relies on the fact that each person has unique physical characteristics, such as fingerprints or the eye’s retina. Speech and facial recognition systems rely on these distinctive features.
A location factor can limit authentication attempts to devices located in a particular location or more generally by monitoring where an authentication attempt is made. The location of the request can be based on the source IP address or other geolocation information.
Protect your sensitive data with a two-factor authentication system
In summary, two-factor authentication is a highly effective method for restricting access to sensitive information to authorized persons. The strength of this approach lies in the fact that it is much, much harder for fraudsters and hackers to get their hands on two different authentication factors at the same time.
At XMedius, this method, along with extensive encryption and other measures, is used to ensure the security of file exchanges made on our XM SendSecure platform. If you’re looking to better protect your organization from potential fines, unexpected IT costs, and reputation damage associated with improperly protected sensitive data, do not hesitate to contact our team of experts.