What is Two Factor Authentication?

Sometimes called multi-factor authentication, two-factor authentication is when a computer requires the user to enter more than just a password to gain access. The majority of businesses require their employees to use nothing more than a single password to access their computers.

However, an increase in “phishing” attacks and other malicious activities meant to steal employee access credentials has increased the value of using two-factor authentication. A password is usually one part of two-factor authentication, and the other part may be one of three standard types.


Types of two-factor authentication include:

  • Knowledge factors – a knowledge factor is a question where the only person who knows the answer is the authorized user of the computer or computer system. For example, a knowledge factor might feature something like the name of a person’s maternal grandmother, or the name of a user’s elementary school teacher.
  • Possession factors – a possession factor might take the form of a physical object where there is only one copy of the device, and the user is the only person who has a copy. A possession factor might be something like a keycard where there is only a single copy of the keycard that can access a computer at any one time.
  • Body factors – a body factor is a feature that is unique to the user, such as a fingerprint or the user’s voice. Body factors may require the business installs additional technology, such as fingerprint scanners or a voice-activated security system. These security features are common with controlled access buildings, but they are useful for computer access, too.


Should My Business Use Two Factor Authentication?

Keeping your business’s network secure and ensuring that only authorized users are allowed to gain access to your business machines is an important part of any business security strategy. If your business handles sensitive data, or you are responsible for keeping your company data out of the hands of cyber criminals, two-factor authentication may be a cybersecurity policy to consider.

One of the ways a business owner or information technology manager can improve the security of data, programs, and the company network is to require complex passwords that feature non-letter characters, capital letters, and punctuation. Requiring employees to change those passwords regularly is another option that can keep the company’s data safe.

However, another layer of authentication in the form of two-factor authentication can ensure that no one can access the computers at the company unless they are in possession of a unique item. Although espionage movies commonly show thieves breaking into systems with voice-activated security controls, the process is actually much more secure than the movies might have you believe.

Even if a business owner must invest in technology to use two-factor authentication (like a fingerprint scanner, for example), the various options for this type of authentication are easily updated and changed in the event of an attempted security breach.


Work With Magnet Solutions Group on Your Access Security

“Planning for the worst and hoping for the best” is a strategy to consider when implementing your business’s security. Two-factor authentication can take many forms, and your business may benefit from utilizing this extra layer of protection for accessing your organization’s computers. Contact Magnet Solutions Group to see how our experts can help you implement a safe security system for your company network.