Data Security and Two-Factor Authentication (TFA)
What is Two Factor Authentication?
You may have heard the of the term Two Factor Authentication (TFA) and been using it without even knowing. This feature has been widely used for years, yet recently, due to the increased security breaches and changes in compliance, it’s mainstream use is growing. Have you ever wondered why your bank or credit card company sends you a text with an authorization code prior to working with you over the phone or when logging into a website from a different IP Address? Perhaps you have to answer a few security questions when logging in to check your medical benefits or status on your home loan – this is a classic example of Two Factor Authentication.
Two Factor Authentication requires two methods of proving your identity. To gain access to information protected by TFA, you need to prove who you are by 2 of 3 ways:
- Method #1: Knowledge – You provide information that only you know – such as a password or answers to security questions. For Example: What street did you live on in 7th grade? or Using both User Name AND Password to log into a website.
- Method #2: Possession – You have logged in somewhere or verified your account, then IN ADDITION, a one time security code is sent to you via text, phone or email. Amazon might call you with a one-time access code, or your credit card company might send you an email with a passcode that you must enter before gaining access to your account.
- Method #3 Inherence – This is perhaps the most secure authentication criteria in which you must prove something unique about yourself in order to gain access to information. An example of this would be a finger print, retina scan (used with Smartphones and tablets) or voice recognition when access phone support. It does this by adding an extra step when logging into accounts, therefore making your data more secure.
When adding these additional layers of secure sign on, you are in essence stopping a potential hacker or other bad actor from obtaining access to your passwords, your devices and your electronic data.
Yes, what once was plot in a Mission Impossible Movie, is now a daily reality. The massive digital footprint we all leave each and every day, must be protected from the unknown. Data breaches in the past have led to this new norm in which we all must protect our data on our end, just as major banks, healthcare providers and other entities maintain regulatory compliance. Two Factor Authentication may seem like overkill for some, yet it is for your benefit. It’s a simple safeguard for both you and your customers.
We work with companies that must adhere to regulatory compliance in order to operate their business. We can quickly implement these required security features for companies. If you have suddenly found yourself scrambling to implement Two Factor Authentication, we can help. Contact us here at Orange County Computer, we are happy to help!