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Two or Multi-Factor Authentication

Multi-Factor Authentication is a simple but effective way to secure your businesses sensitive information. Using an electronic authentication device to grant a user access to a computer, website or application, such devices can be a mobile phone or a USB drive. Therefore a user requires their initial login details along with authenticating not only who they are, but that they are authorized through using a physical device. This is why this type of secure authentication has the term two or multi-factor authentication.

There are pros and cons to both types of authentication but first why even both with this type of security? Whilst a username and password is comprisable with enough determination by an intruder, a physical device adds another layer that is more difficult in some instances to obtain. A positive to using a mobile phone is that the user is likely to notice if this device is obtains, due to the nature in which humans currently check this device intermittently, the device its self has a passcode in order to access the authenticator which too also has a passcode. However a con is that mobile phones themselves are subject to wireless hacking, meaning a user might be aware when the device is physically compromised but not when it is wirelessly compromised. This is where a USB drive is superior as they cannot be hacked wirelessly, however a user does not regularly check this device, meaning if it is obtained physically, either lost or replaced with a duplicate, a user will only become aware of this when they come to use the device. The limitations of adding additional layers of security are down to each organization, you could use both a mobile phone and a USB which is why the term multi-factor authentication is often interchanged with two factor authentication.

Each scenario requires assessment of your businesses infrastructure and security practices, Contact us for more information.

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