Two-factor authentication (2FA) strengthens access security by requiring two methods (also referred to as factors) to verify your identity. These factors can include something you know – like a username and password, plus something you have – like a smartphone app to approve authentication requests.
2FA protects against phishing, social engineering and password brute-force attacks and secures your logins from attackers exploiting weak or stolen credentials.
Each two-factor authentication (2FA) method has their own advantages and disadvantages for different types of users. Here are a few of the features provided to you:
Verify your identity by approving a push notification from an authentication mobile app on your smartphone or wearable.
Using a hardware token, you can press a button to verify. This device is programmed to generate a passcode that you must type into your two-factor prompt.
A unique passcode is sent to your phone via SMS that you must type into your two-factor prompt.
This method calls your phone and waits for you to pick up and press any key to authenticate before granting you access to your account.
Similar to SMS, a two-factor authentication app can generate new, unique passcodes for you to type into the two-factor prompt. These are known as time-based one-time passcodes (TOTP).
Universal 2nd Factor (U2F) is an authentication standard that uses an authenticator (a USB hardware device) and a server. A user authenticates by tapping the device inserted into their computer’s USB drive.
Two-factor authentication (2FA) is one of the best ways to protect against remote attacks such as phishing, credential exploitation and other attempts to take-over your accounts.
Without your physical device, remote attackers can’t pretend to be you in order to gain unauthorized access to corporate networks, cloud storage, financial information, etc. stored in applications.
By integrating two-factor authentication with your applications, attackers are unable to access your accounts without possessing your physical device needed to complete the second factor.