As companies plan their cyber security with managed IT services providers in Thunder Bay, many wonder why two-factor authentication is better than single-factor authentication at protecting their business.
A key aspect of network security is the verification of user authentication activity. Government agencies, small and medium-sized businesses, and big organizations must hold it in high regard. Having a solid user authentication system protects your business and network infrastructure (database, records, software and hardware, computers, etc.) from potential threats.
To prevent unauthorized network access, it’s usually imperative to implement authentication systems. One of the most popular authentication methods has been Single-Factor Authentication (SFA). As a result of technological advancement, which has both positive and negative effects, it has become more vulnerable. Thus, we examine SFA loopholes as well as other alternatives you can consider.
How does Single-Factor Authentication (SFA) work?
Security methods such as Single-Factor Authentication (SFA) are typically used to control and secure network access. Using one category of credentials for verification, the method identifies and ensures that the party seeking access is authorized to do so.
In Single-Factor Authentication (SFA), passwords are the most common authentication method. In this method, users are required to enter the right username and password to gain access. In this method, the user or network administrator needs to be diligent in creating a strong password and ensuring it remains secure and unknown to unauthorized parties.
According to CISA (Cyber-security & Infrastructure Security Agency), Single-Factor Authentication (SFA) is a vulnerable authentication method. The Single-Factor Authentication (SFA) system has been vulnerable to phishing, social engineering, network sniffing, and keylogging techniques.
How does Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) work?
In some cases, this authentication method is called two-step verification or dual-factor authentication. To perform a proper identification or verification process, a user or system administrator must provide two distinct authentication factors.
Cyber security professionals are rapidly replacing Single-Factor Authentication (SFA) with this much-improved method. By restricting access to your business network, data, and other essential resources, two-factor authentication (2FA) increases security. SFA requires only a username and password (the only factor), whereas 2FA requires a second (different) factor, such as a code (security token), fingerprint, or facial scan (biometric factors).
By making it difficult for unauthorized personnel to access the system or network, the method adds another layer of security to the verification process. As a result, a compromised password does not leave the system vulnerable since the attacker must still scale through a second factor to identify and verify themselves.
How does multi-factor authentication (MFA) work?
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a type of two-factor authentication (2FA). Before accessing a system or network, users must provide more than one authentication factor. In addition to Single-Factor Authentication (SFA), multi-factor authentication encompasses other authentication methods.
MFA is now used by most businesses, especially for sensitive information and highly valuable data. Most password decryption methods, such as phishing, social engineering, and malware fraud, are rendered ineffective by the method’s complex security layers. Even though Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is not a permanent solution to these attacks, it helps mitigate them and makes it harder for unauthorized users to access the network.
How does single-factor authentication (SFA) affect security?
Single-Factor Authentication (SFA) still exposes businesses to certain risks, which can cause valuable data to be lost, compromised, or inaccessible. Single-Factor Authentication (SFA) can be used for financial accounts, company networks, databases, and computer systems.
Therefore two-factor authentication is better than single-factor authentication at protecting their business.
Is single-factor authentication (SFA) prone to cyberattacks?
With Single-Factor Authentication (SFA), attackers will have an easier time gaining unauthorized access and breaching data. Data breaches are continuously causing businesses to lose money. Your business could lose millions if you use the SFA method for your network security.
Using phishing and other methods, Single-Factor Authentication (SFA) can be easily compromised using a single factor (password or pin code). If you forget or misplace the required factor without any means of recovering it, Single-Factor Authentication (SFA) could result in permanent loss of access.
The Multiple Factor Authentication (MFA) process provides an alternative method of gaining access to a system or network if the single factor authentication method is not possible. Using MFA over Single-Factor Authentication (SFA) is another way to protect yourself.
Do you need assistance with multi-factor authentication?
It is crucial for businesses to move beyond Single-Factor Authentication (SFA) and move towards Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) to avoid easy attacks and data breaches that could cost them millions.
Your business’s network security should not be compromised by not integrating a Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) solution. Now that you know why two-factor authentication is better than single-factor authentication at protecting their business, let a managed IT services provider in Thunder Bay help!