2-Factor Authentication (2FA) is a cybersecurity process that enables the user to verify themselves via two different authentication factors to provide a higher level of security. It mainly consists of a password and an additional layer of authentication, which could either be a security pin or a biometric factor, such as a fingerprint. Single Factor Authentication (SFA) is not considered a very secure service, as it not only requires protection from inside threats but is also extremely hackable, given enough time and resources. 2FA, on the other hand, lets users log in easily and securely while also making threats originating from remote internet connections less threatening. It is a process that combines your password with something you already have, such as your phone, ID card, or an element such as your fingerprint, facial scan, and such.

Why is 2FA so important?

Cybersecurity experts recommend enabling 2FA everywhere, be it email accounts, social media platforms, banking services or any other important accounts. Despite the minor inconvenience of a more extended log in process, 2FA can drastically reduce the chances of data loss, fraud, or identity theft and is imperative in today’s day and age because of the vulnerability of passwords.

It takes less than 6 hours to crack 90% of passwords, and two-thirds of users have the same passwords for everything. Cyber attackers can test billions of passwords every second, and 2FA acts as a vital barrier to keep them at bay. In a study conducted by the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University, it was found that 28% of people have never used 2FA. About 64% of the respondents claimed that they had never even heard of it.  One of the primary reasons for the need to prompt 2FA is widespread major data breaches. Verizon’s 2017 Data Breach Investigation Report states that 81% of hacking-related breaches leveraged stolen or weak passwords. In today’s technology-driven world, privacy has become an enormous concern for everyone. In 2017, 16.7 million people became victims of identity fraud in The United States.

2FA is a practical approach for a range of businesses all over the world as it secures customers from digital risks but also unwanted regulatory scrutiny. By adding a second layer of security to the account, one can significantly reduce the chances of hacks and stay protected from phishing emails. For instance, if someone is trying to gain access to any of your social accounts by getting you to log in via your Google or Facebook, 2FA will still be able to protect you as only legitimate websites will send you a working two-factor code.

To protect their users from credential-stuffing attacks and data breaches, many sites follow the four main types of 2FA

A text message code– SMS is the most common form of 2FA because it’s easy to set up. However, it is the least secure. SMS messages are not encrypted, and hackers can exploit weaknesses in the phone network. It also creates a concern for the user in case the mobile device is lost or stolen.

Authenticator app code– This requires you to install an authenticator app on your smartphone. It is similar to a text message, but the code is sent to the app over HTTPS connection, making it almost impossible for anyone to steal the code before you utilize it. There are many authenticator apps available, such as Duo, Authy, and Google Authenticator.

Biometric– This process is generally found in industrial or enterprise settings. Biometrics include fingerprints, iris scan or facial recognition. These require specialized hardware and are more expensive than the other options. Although these are very secure, they are not entirely spoof-proof because of fingerprint cloning or using a 3D printer.

Physical key– This method utilizes a device like a USB stick, which is cryptographically unique and is considered to be the strongest of all the methods. Once you log in to your account, the system prompts you to insert the key into the computer. Only legitimate sites support security keys which is why phishing pages won’t work.

Benefits of DUO 2FA vs. other products

There are several authenticator apps available for download, such as Duo, Authy, Google Authenticator, and Yubico.  All these apps have various things to offer. However, Duo fits the bill for everyone from single users to small businesses to large corporations.  All the apps support FIDO, multiple token, and offline mode. Yubico is not available over smartphones and Google Authenticator is not available for desktops. Authy and DUO also support open source and multiple devices syncing. RDM integration is supported by all three except for Authy.  It is important to know as much as you can about 2FA before choosing the right option for you. Any of these apps will do a phenomenal job in securing data.

Different options of DUO

DUO, through its Multi Factor Authentication (MFA), verifies the identities of all its users. It also ensures that all devices meet certain security standards. DUO provides 5 plans: 

DUO Free– This plan provides a personal license for small teams of up to 10 users. 

DUO MFA- This plan provides secure access, advanced administration, and user provisioning. The enterprise license is $3/user/month. 

DUO Access- Priced at $6/user/month, the platform license provides details of the security hygiene of every device, a single sign-on experience, and enforces contextual and adaptive authentication policies.

DUO Beyond- At just $9/user/month, you get all the benefits of DUO Access, as well as the additional ability to identify corporate devices vs. personal devices, block devices, and give users secure access to internal apps.  

DUO Federal- This plan is specifically designed for government organizations. 

Everyone needs to be aware of the potential risks that come with the advancement of technology and it is even more vital to know how to combat these risks. People need to make smarter decisions when managing their data and the 2FA method is definitely one of the safest options to empower you in controlling your privacy.

If you are looking for a service provider to strengthen your digital infrastructure and protect your valuable data, then Preemo is your best bet. We provide complete IT support for you to function without ever having to worry about data loss. Explore for creating a secure and peaceful digital environment in your organization and get in touch with us today.