Two Factor Authentication is increasingly being used for most social media and websites and we are all used to using it to log on and into websites and emails. But, how does it work and why is two factor authentication important?
Read on to find out more…
What Is Two Factor Authentication?
Two factor authentication is a way of adding another layer of security to ensure the authorised person is accessing the right area.
One good example of this, is when you log on to Facebook and enter your password from a new device for the first time.
Depending on your security settings, you will then get an email or a text message asking if it is in fact you accessing Facebook from this device.
So, entering your password is factor one and the email or text message is factor two.
Why Is Two Factor Authentication Used?
I’m sure we have all, at one time or another, struggled to log into our online banking or a website we haven’t used for a while and been asked what our mothers maiden name was or the name of our first pet, then our password, then had to enter an authorisation code that has been sent by text to our phone.
Which can all be rather annoying we know but adding extra layers of security helps to keep our personal and confidential data safe (and our money!)
How Many Passwords?
Most of what we do now has an online version. Shopping? Log into Asda online. Want to get the latest Stephen King book? Log into Amazon. Want to find out what’s going on in the world of Brexit? Log into Twitter. Interested in how many local cats have gone missing? Log into Facebook.
Now, how many of us use different passwords for all the different platforms which are regularly changed and updated?
Or how many of us tend to have been using the same password for everything, since 1995? With the only changed being adding a number at the end.
According to data collected by the data management company Cyclonis, an astonishing 83% of users use the same password for multiple websites.
Which is music to the ears of hackers of course…
So, if a hacker manages to crack the password for your Facebook account then they are quite likely to be able to gain access to many more sites.
Hackers And How They Work
Not known for resting on their laurels, hackers are always looking at new methods of gaining access to accounts.
Hackers also read the same websites as everyone else so will know that most people use the same passwords and that most companies started to ask the same security questions.
There are also automated bots that will actively search for every different possible password variation in order to gain access.
Which means that online companies have had to up their game. Hence the more varied approach to two factor authentication.
This is also quite possible why on social media you will see a lot of ‘get your Rockstar name by taking the name of your first pet and your mother’s maiden name’ type of tweets and Facebook posts.
Website Security Is Always Evolving
With every new sophisticated development in website security there is an equally sophisticated attempt to crack the new security method.
Every day there are more and more stories in the press about data breaches. Hence why two factor authentication has become the standard way to help protect data safe.
But, even as two factor authentication is now common practice for online security, other methods are already being introduced.
What was once seen only in the world of science fiction, biometric authentication is now being used more widely and facial recognition is now starting to be utilised in various ways.
Voice recognition software is already being used by some financial companies.
There has definitely been a shift to simplifying the authentication process, rather than adding yet another layer after layer.
Using biometric authentication and facial recognition certainly does simplify the process and in theory should be even more secure if not entirely watertight.
But as we all know, no security process in entirely infallible.
The simplicity of two factor authentication is one of the reasons why it is now being used for virtually every website that requires you to log in.
By sending an alert to another separate device, it makes it much harder for a hacker to intercept. They may have found or guessed your Facebook password, but they would also need to hack into your mobile phone or email.
Get In Touch
Here at Bandicoot we always like to keep ahead of the curve, so be sure to check back on our website to find out any new developments in website security.
If you would like to have a chat about this and the other services we provide then please do!
You can call us on 01282 506 616 or use our online contact form here.