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Understanding The Authentication Process: Implementing 2 Factor Authentication

When securing your digital assets, you are always looking for ways to stay ahead of the curve. One way is by adding an extra layer of authentication to your accounts. This means that even if someone gets their hands on one password, they will still need another form of identification before accessing any personal information or sensitive documents.

The internet is a scary place. With cybercrime on the rise, it’s time to take your security seriously and implement 2-factor authentications for all of your devices!

There are many ways to secure your personal information on the internet. 2-factor authentication is a new and popular method that is used by companies like Google and Microsoft as well as other online services to provide a secure authentication that combines two different pieces of information to authenticate users, for example, a password with an SMS text message or code from an app like Google Authenticator.

This blog post will tell you everything about the authentication process and how apps like Google and Microsoft Authenticator work? What are some critical differences between SMS-based and Time-based One-Time Password (TOTP) systems? And finally, we’ll talk about how 2-factor authentication works and why you must implement it on all accounts that matter to you!

How Do Authenticator Apps Work

Apps like Google/Microsoft Authenticator work by generating a new code every 30 seconds, which the user must enter to log in. This means that even if someone can steal your password and try to hack into your account from another device, they’ll be locked out after only one incorrect attempt unless they have access to all your valid login codes, which would be virtually impossible to do.

The critical difference between SMS-based and TOTP systems is the way they generate a new code for your account every time you log in. With an app like Google or Microsoft Authenticator, it’s based on when you first logged in, so if you get a new phone, you’ll need to install the app and generate a new code.

In contrast, TOTP systems use an ongoing calculation between your hardware device like smartphone or security key that generates codes based on time of the day, so even if you change devices, as long as it is synced with the same service, you’ll be able to log in and get a new code.

Therefore, we highly recommend that all customers and business professionals schedule IT services consultations to learn more about authentications for their accounts.

How 2FAs Work

2FAs are divided into two system-based authenticators.

The first one is the hardware authenticator, which can be a fob, USB device, or an app on your phone that generates secure tokens used to generate verification codes for you when logging in.

The second type of authentication factor involves a more complex software-based level of security, where you’ll need to have another code from the app to log into your account.

The code is delivered via text or generated at the time it’s required.  This makes sure that even if someone got access to your username and password, they can’t get into your account without having physical possession of your other device. Some examples include Google’s Android/iOS Authenticator, Microsoft Account’s Authenticator app, and Duo Mobile.

These apps generate a code every 30 seconds to use as an additional login step on your account, which means if someone gets access to your login credentials,  they will need the Google Authenticator or another authenticator that generates codes to log into your account successfully and access your data.

However, there is a variety when it comes to the way these authenticators work. Some require scanning a QR code with their apps, and others might generate an authentication request on their website, which needs to be copied into the app.

Using Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) To Secure Your Business

Businesses and organizations face the risks of potential cyber-attacks similar to a private citizen, and by using two-factor authentication, you can reduce the likelihood of such attacks.

Two-factor authentications provide maximum system login security than password-only logins. The extra barrier of protection between your business and hackers can help prevent data breaches and unauthorized access to your sensitive financial transactions and customer data.

The high demand for this data makes small and medium businesses to be the prime targets of cybercriminals. A study conducted by Verizon indicates that more than 30% of the reported ransomware attacks in 2020 involved small businesses.

With the COVID-19 pandemic causing more organizations to adopt remote workforces, the risks of these systems being hacked and infected with ransom are expected to rise.

Cybercriminals target business networks by hacking into devices such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones to gain access to networks of small businesses.

Therefore, if you are looking to boost the security of your business, then two-factor authentication is an excellent place to start.

How To Get Started With Secure Systems Authenticator

When it comes to providing authentication for your business and personal data, there is no such thing as too much security.

The first layer of protection in any sound security system is a firewall, which monitors incoming traffic for unauthorized access attempts.

Technological developments and the rise in popularity of cloud-based data storage have increased cybercriminals’ ability to interact with a company’s networks from afar. This means that implementing two-factor authentications is more critical than ever.

However, if you are not sure where to start, consider the systems you regularly connect via the internet. For example, if you are using Gmail, it is possible to use Google Authenticator to provide an additional layer of authentication above and beyond your email password.

In 2021 and beyond, technological infrastructure will continue to advance and become more complex, and that means there will be many new security cyber-risks to protect against. Therefore, it is vitally important to connect with an integrated IT support company and schedule a no-obligation review and assess your business’ IT service requirements.