Why using 2FA is worth itPosted on 26 May 2023 by Beaming Support
Two-factor authentication – also known as ‘2FA’ – is the process by which a secondary method of verification (in addition to a password) is required before allowing you access to a platform/ device. It is an increasingly common security feature that adds a layer of protection to your accounts. MFA – or ‘multi-factor authentication’, operates in the same way as 2FA – but it involves two or more methods of verification.
Examples of 2FA
Most people will have come across 2FA in their personal lives – for example, when logging into your online banking, you will most likely receive a prompt to enter a short code that you receive as a text message to your phone or on an App. Only once you enter that code correctly are you allowed to proceed into your online banking portal.
Other types of 2FA
In addition to text messages, 2FA can take the form of verification emails, phone calls, apps (such as Google’s authenticator app) or even a physical security key.
2FA v MFA
The added benefit of MFA is that every extra layer of verification required increases the security of the account you are trying to access.
Potential downsides of using 2FA
The main consideration that gets raised in discussions surrounding 2FA is the increased time it takes to log in. Waiting for a code to come through can take anywhere from a few seconds to a couple of minutes, depending on the verification system in use. But don’t be put off implementing 2FA – the time spent logging in will be considerably less than the time spent recovering from a cyberattack!
Another consideration to take into account is that it does not render your systems 100% secure. If you were particularly unlucky and your laptop and phone got stolen at the same time, for example, the thief would be able to access your systems simply by receiving all the verification codes they need to your phone.
Other cybersecurity measures
Using strong passwords: 2FA is an added layer of security – its purpose is not to replace strong passwords, but to complement them. Read our tips on how to increase your password security here.
Here’s some more cybersecurity advice:
- Keep all software and devices up to date with the latest security patches and updates.
- Use a business-grade firewall to protect your network and restrict access to authorised users.
- Use antivirus and anti-malware software to detect and remove any malicious software.
- Educate employees about cybersecurity and the importance of following safe practices when using the internet and company devices, not only when they join, but on a regular basis.
We’ve listed our 9 top tips to protect against cyberattacks in our Q1 2023 cyber threat report.
2FA used to be ‘enough’, but with the increase in both the prevalence and sophistication of cyberattacks, it will not suffice by itself in protecting your systems. Our advice is to work with a trusted ISP, such as Beaming, to develop a cybersecurity plan to keep your business safe.
We’ve answered more questions in our knowledge base:
Need to upgrade your cybersecurity? Talk to us today