Two-factor authentication, commonly referred to as 2FA, is a vital layer of cyber security designed to ensure that you're the only person who can access your account, even if someone else knows your password.
If you're new to the world of two-factor authentication then you should probably start by reading our first article HERE before going deeper, below.
What is clear is that by implementing this additional layer of protection, 2FA significantly decreases the likelihood of unauthorised access to your data and sensitive information, thereby providing enhanced cyber security protection in our increasingly digital world.
But not all forms of 2FA are equal...
In this article, we're going to explain the pros and cons of the different types of 2FA so that you can decide which is the best fit for you personally, and your organisation.
Each type of 2FA has its strengths and weaknesses. For instance, while biometric data is difficult to fake, it's also not something you can change if it gets compromised. Meanwhile, SMS codes can be intercepted, especially if the attacker has control over the phone number to which the code is sent. Thus, when implementing 2FA, it's essential to consider the unique needs and security requirements of the situation.
This is one of the key components of two-factor authentication (2FA).
This type of authentication is based on information that only the user should know. The most common example is a password or a PIN (Personal Identification Number).
When you create an account on a website or an app, you're often required to create a unique password. This password is something that you know, and ideally, no one else does. Similarly, a PIN is a numeric or alphanumeric code that you're asked to create for some systems.
Knowledge factors can also include answers to "security questions" that you set up, like your mother's maiden name or the name of your first pet.
The strength of this type of factor lies in its secrecy. If someone else finds out your password, PIN, or the answers to your security questions, they could potentially access your accounts, which is why it's crucial to keep this information confidential and combine it with other types of 2FA for enhanced cyber security protection.
This type of 2FA relies on a user having a specific device or object that can be used to confirm their identity.
Some common examples include:
While possession factors significantly enhance security, they should be used in conjunction with other cybersecurity measures for maximum protection.
This refers to biometric data used in two-factor authentication (2FA).
This type of authentication involves something inherent to the user's biological makeup or behaviour. Biometrics provide a strong level of cybersecurity protection because they're unique to each individual and are extremely hard to fake or steal.
Here are some examples:
Remember, while biometrics provide a high level of security, they also raise privacy concerns, as they involve collecting and storing sensitive personal data.
Furthermore, unlike passwords, biometric data can't be changed if it's compromised, which is why it's important to protect such data with the highest cyber security standards.