There aren’t many feelings worse than realizing you’ve misplaced your wallet. Sure, it’s probably back home in the khakis you wore yesterday, but what if it’s not? You’ve got cash, credit cards, maybe even a password or two written down in there. If you’ve lost it, you’ll have to get a new driver’s license. If someone has stolen it, things could be a lot worse.
Having someone steal your password doesn’t create that sense of dread, but only because you usually don’t realize it’s happened until it’s too late. If someone gains access to any one of your accounts, though, they can do some serious damage – and there’s not a lot you can do to stop them until they’ve done it.
That’s why there’s such power in two-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication adds another layer of security to your username and password. It’s not enough to have access to those things, you also need to be in front of a second form of identification. Early in the lifespan of two-factor authentication, that often came in the form of a small token that lived near your desk. When you went to log-in, you’d check the PIN the token was currently displaying, enter that, and if the service you were using expected that same token, you’d be given access.
In recent years, the process has gotten a little easier by utilizing something most people have on them at all times – their cell phone. Consumer-level products like Gmail often use text messages to deliver two-factor authentication, while enterprise-level offerings may use specific apps. Either way, the idea is the same – having a username and password isn’t enough to gain access.
The security benefits for this are obvious. It’s not enough to intercept your password over the Internet, a would-be hacker also has to get their hands on a physical device that delivers another number. It’s also not enough to grab your laptop bag. If you’re using two-factor right, they’d have to get hold of your username, password, and cellphone or token.
To learn about how Symplexity can bring two-factor authorization to your company and help keep you safe, contact us.