The importance of multi-factor authentication for your business
Nov. 21, 2023
A comprehensive guide to MFA, 2FA, and 2SV for enhanced privacy and protection
Did you know over 80% of cyber breaches happen due to weak or stolen passwords? (1) The best way to create security layers for system access is by using multi-factor authentication, two-factor authentication (2FA), or two-step verification (2SV). These authentication measures can provide added layers of security necessary to protect users and their data.
Continue reading to learn the importance of two-way authentication to ensure privacy and security.
What is MFA, 2Fa, and 2SV?
Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), Two-Factor Authentication (2FA), and Two-Step Verification (2SV) are security methods designed to enhance the safeguarding of online accounts. They achieve this by requiring users to provide multiple forms of identification, thereby introducing an extra layer of protection.
What are the differences between MFA, 2FA, and 2SV?
While these authentication methods appear the same, they have distinct differences. Here is a breakdown of each:
Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): MFA is a security enhancement that requires a user to submit two or more items of proof (factors) for system access. Authentication factors can include another piece of information like a password, something the user possesses such as a keycard, or a biometric like their fingerprint.
2-Factor Authentication (2FA): This type of multi-factor authentication uses two distinct authentication factors for accessing an account. The first factor is a password, and the second commonly includes a text with a code sent to your smartphone or biometrics using your fingerprint, face, or retina.
2-Step Verification (2SV): This type of multi-factor authentication requires two sequential verification steps using authentication factors. For example, Google uses 2SV. To log in, enter your username and password and an additional code.
It’s important to note that 2FA and 2SV are types of multi-factor authentication. The primary difference comes down to the kind of authentication methods that are applied. If login is a two-step process, it will always be 2SV. If that two-step process uses different authentication factors, it’s a 2FA login.
Why are MFA, 2FA, and 2SV important for your business?
MFA, 2FA, and 2SV are essential for businesses because they provide an additional layer of security beyond just usernames and passwords. Passwords are often the weakest link in security. 61% of all breaches exploited user credentials, and stolen credentials directly caused 50% of these breaches.  These credentials might have been acquired through social engineering tactics such as phishing and counterfeit websites that trick users into entering their login information, or they could have been compromised through hacking methods.
Users may choose weak passwords, reuse passwords across multiple accounts, or fall victim to phishing attacks. MFA and its variants help mitigate these vulnerabilities by requiring additional authentication steps rather than just a simple password.
How does MFA improve cybersecurity?
MFA acts as a powerful defense mechanism, significantly reducing the risk of unauthorized access and enhancing overall cybersecurity posture.
What are the types of authentication factors used?
Type 1: Knowledge – Something you know, such as a password or answer to a question.
Type 2: Possession – Something you have, such as a security key, card, or token.
Type 3: Inherence – Something you are, such as a unique biometric, like a fingerprint or facial recognition.
Is it challenging to implement these authentication features?
No. MFA, 2FA, and 2SV are easy to implement and cost-effective. Implementing these authentication features for your business is crucial, even more so if your team members work remotely.
In essence, these authentication tools are not just a security feature; it’s a strategic imperative for businesses looking to fortify their defenses in an increasingly complex and challenging cybersecurity landscape. It addresses specific vulnerabilities associated with password-based authentication and adds a crucial layer of protection to sensitive systems and data.
How we can help
We are happy to discuss options, educate, and set up multi-factor authentication for all our clients! As your trusted technology ally and cybersecurity experts, we are here to help you with your IT needs.