Two-factor authentication is vital for effective network security and it can drastically reduce instances of online fraud, internal security breaches, hacking, data and identity theft and successful phishing attempts.
Two-factor authentication is a security process in which two means of identification are provided, one of which is typically a physical token (something you have), such as a bank card, and the other of which is typically something memorized (something you know), such as a PIN code or password. Single-factor authentication, such as using only a password, provides a low-level of protection. The addition of a second, physical proof of identity, increases security exponentially.
Multi-factor authentication is essential for ensuring your data isn’t exposed to the masses, especially for financial firms and hedge funds that need to be able to satisfy the conditions put forward to them in due diligence questionnaires (DDQs) from investors and auditing firms.
The growing mobile workforce is a primary driver of stronger user authentication. Today’s businesses are required to provide more access to more users over a wider range of devices. Since people are always the largest threat to a secure infrastructure, two-factor authentication adds an additional level of protection.
There are three types of two-factor authentication:
1. Challenge-response (Asynchronous) – The user enter a username, PIN and challenge token device and the server validates the token response.
2. Event-synchronous – The user generates a one-time passcode on the token, and enters the username and one-time passcode or PIN. The server authenticates by matching the one-time code entered by the user with the server passcode.
3. Time-synchronous – The user generates a one-time passcode on the token and then enters the passcode and username. The server and token each generate a passcode by combing the seed record and current CST. Then the server authenticates the users by matching the user passcode with the server’s passcode. Time-synchronous provides the highest level of security.
Benefits of two-factor authentication for your business network:
- A significant factor when considering the ROI of a two-factor authentication system is knowing your investment is secure.
- The introduction of better security will help extend the scope of your business, widen the net of investors and partners, improve customer satisfaction and help your business remain competitive.
- Avoid the costs associated with security breaches.
- Improves employee productivity and effectiveness.
- Improves trust between customers, partners and investors.
- Helps businesses adhere to compliance regulations.
- Lets you conduct e-business with confidence knowing that your critical digital assets, customers and employees are protected by reliable, future-proof technology.
Protecting proprietary information ultimately comes down to a balance between convenience and security. Consider these four points:
Total cost of ownership — This includes costs associated with acquisition, deployment, maintenance and management
Fit for end users — This includes ease of use, acceptability by end users: convenience, portability, and multi-purpose use. The authentication process can’t be overly burdensome to the end user.
Fit for the business — This includes strength of authentication, security of implementation, adequacy for the resource/operations/data being protected, compatibility with compliance requirements, ease of integration with existing infrastructure and applications.
Strategic fit — Does the solution offer support for multiple authentication methods? Does it integrate the scalability, security and compliance of Active Directory to provide a two-factor authentication to any system, application or resource taking advantage of the corporate directory already in place, instead of creating an additional proprietary one? Web access management is essential.
ACE IT Solutions provides best-of-breed identity management and authentication solutions. We utilize our strategic expertise to make customized recommendations to our clients, since there is no one-size-fits-all solution to security. We can help you choose the solution that is best for your business, securely deploy it and train you employees on how to use it. Contact ACE IT Solutions at 646.558.5575 for more information.