A two-factor authentication (2FA) is an authentication method that requires you to complete two steps successfully to gain access to something. In dutch, we also call this a two-step authentication.
2FA is used worldwide in many different companies and for many brands. A simple example of two-factor authentication is a bank card combined with a PIN. If one of the crucial components is missing (bank card or PIN), access to the account cannot be gained. According to research, 80% of cyber-attacks could be prevented by 2FA, and this could be something as simple as a transaction requiring a text message confirmation. It's much less likely that someone can get their hands on your password and your phone!
There are three types of authentication factors:
Knowledge: Something you know. For example, a password, a PIN, or an answer to a security question.
Possession: Something you have. For example, a smartphone or bank card.
(Physical) Property: biometric property such as a fingerprint, face, or voice.
These types can all be mixed and matched to be used together in a way that suits the purpose of your business.
Your customers' security should be one of your highest priorities. 2FA provides an additional layer of security and makes it harder for attackers to access personal accounts. By simply adding 2FA steps to log-ins and transaction processes, risks can be greatly reduced.
The 4 benefits:
1. Increased productivity and flexibility
Companies that embrace new technologies are likely to experience improved productivity and flexibility. Customers can sign up for services faster and, more importantly, more securely than before and are given the choice of how they want to verify their identity.
In enterprises, 2FA is used so that employees can securely access enterprise applications, data, and documents from virtually any location without compromising corporate data.
2. Better security
2FA lowers the chances of an attacker impersonating someone else to gain access to personal data. Even if they have the password, they need something else too! 2FA places a virtually impenetrable wall between hackers and your customers' personal data.
3. Lower security management costs
2FA helps to reduce long and expensive password contacts. Moreover, it is a safe way for customers to solve these problems themselves. Reducing customer interactions with call centers not only strengthens security but also improves UX. As a huge bonus, the overhead costs associated with security checks are reduced, and the "workload" for your support team is dramatically reduced.
4. Less fraud
It is not easy for a hacker to bypass 2FA, making it an effective security tool against fraud. Potential threats would need to know a lot of information to gain access, not just one password.
How does 2FA work?
The most common use of 2FA is when a customer logs in with a password and then receives a one-time pin (OTP) to confirm their identity.
The first step is that the customer can choose the method by which the OTP is sent. (For example, via WhatsApp or SMS)
The second authentication factor actually adds a layer of security. (For example, a hacker would need to know your password and have access to your smartphone to get into your account).
The second factor works by releasing an OTP, which can only be used once. A verification message is then received, and the person can confirm their identity.
And it's that simple! Enabling 2FA is an easy way to stay protected from hackers. It literally puts the security of customer accounts in their own hands.
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