Before we dive deep into What is Two Factor Authentication? Which are the popular authenticator apps? Firstly lets check why it is needed? As we spend so much time online, it’s not surprising that our digital accounts have become criminals’ targets. Even after many implementing security & prevention programs, there has been no significant drop or change in hacking attempts. There is a rise in successful data breaches. In fact, as per recent studies and news, it’s quite evident that hackers have grown fearless and target all be it government agencies, enterprises, small companies, or individuals.
One reliable solution to these hacks is the “Authenticator App,” which helps secure online accounts. 2FA, or Two Factor Authentication, has become an important security measure to protect our accounts and online information in the digital world. It is a system that requires two forms of identification to log in to an account. Generally, the most common way of any user identification is his username and password or Social Login. Most users ignore the second level of authentication & leave it disabled.
In most cases, the second level of identification is a physical token or a biometric identifier like a fingerprint. 2FA is an important security measure, making it much harder for attackers to access our accounts and personal information. Even if an attacker knows our password, they will still need our second form of identification to log in. 2FA does not guarantee a 100% solution to the problem, but it is one of the most effective security measures that everyone should use.
- What Is 2FA or Two Factor Authentication?
- Why Apps Requires Stronger Security With 2FA or Two Factor Authentication?
- How Does Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) Work?
- Who Should Be Bothered about 2FA or Two Factor Authentication?
- How 2FA Helps in Authentication
- Types of 2fa or Two Factor Authentication
- Other types of Two Factor Authentication
- Best Ways of Two-factor Authentication
- Risks Associated with 2FA
- Why Passwords Are Considered Bad, But Still Popular
- Common Reasons Why Passwords Are Not Reliable
- Why Passwords Are Not Good Enough for Security?
- Strong Password and Two Factor a Great Combination
- Why Everyone Should Use Two factor or 2FA
- Top 6 Best Authenticator Apps for 2022
- Frequently Asked Questions for 2FA or Two-factor Authentication
What Is 2FA or Two Factor Authentication?
Two-factor authentication, commonly called 2FA, allows businesses to add an extra level of security to user accounts. To prevent them from compromising their login access to hackers or cyber-attacks.
Two-factor authentication (2FA) is an important security measure that uses two different factors to verify your identity before granting access to an account or system. The first factor is something you know, such as a password or PIN. The second factor is something you have, such as a smartphone or security token.
2FA is more secure than traditional password-based authentication because it requires two different pieces of information to verify your identity. If one factor is compromised. The attacker will still need the other one to access your account.
2FA is an important security measure for online accounts, and we recommend using it whenever available.
Why Apps Requires Stronger Security With 2FA or Two Factor Authentication?
In recent years, we’ve witnessed a huge increase in the variety of websites losing their users’ private data. And as cybercrime gets more state-of-the-art, organizations find their old safety structures are no match for cutting-edge threats and attacks. Sometimes it’s easy human errors that have left them uncovered. All types of companies—international companies, small groups, startups, or even non-profits—can suffer intense financial and reputational loss.
For purchasers, the after-effects of targeted hacking or identity robbery may be devastating. Stolen information is often turned into fake cards. And used to purchase items anonymously without being traced. This can damage a sufferer’s credit rating. Also, they can completely drain your bank account and cryptocurrency in a single day. In 2016, reports revealed that 15.4 million Americans had been subject to a massive financial setback of $16 billion, which caused an immense amount of distress and hardship to those affected.
Online websites and apps have to offer tighter protection. Users must get into the habit of defending themselves with 2FA and a strong password. For many, that greater level of security is two-factor authentication.
How Does Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) Work?
Here’s how the 2fa works. With Two-factor authentication enabled on an internet account, you log in as ordinary together with your username and password. That’s component one. Then, the website online asks you for a safety code. That’s component two. This code can also be available in a textual content message, in an email, as a software program token retrieved from a -element authentication app, or as a hardware token from a physical tool (extra on this underneath). SMS verification should be used only as a last resort. Due to risk of SIM swapping and SMS tokens getting exposed. Email verification may be cozy, but best when you have robust two-factor authentication on that email account.
With the 2-thing authentication apps we’re speaking about here, the login code is a “soft or tender token,” a Time-Based One-Time Password (TOTP). The app generates those codes using an algorithm assigned to your tool whilst you install the app, and each code lasts 30 or 60 seconds. This manner simplest your bodily device has the codes, which makes them extra at ease than text-message or email codes.
You must enable double authentication to your password manager, email, cloud backup offerings when you operate, banks, social media profiles, chat apps, and any app with your fitness and fitness facts.
Who Should Be Bothered about 2FA or Two Factor Authentication?
The answer is All. You are always at risk if you do something online, whether shopping, using social media, or banking. You need to use two-factor authentication to secure your online accounts. As the name suggests, two layers or a second layer of protection, it’s known as two-factor authentication or 2FA. As it provides a 2nd layer of safety, it ensures difficulty for an outsider to get login access information.
Common Examples of Two-Factor Authentication
The first common place where we all use two-factor authentication is withdrawing Cash from your bank account with a debit card. Here you use a unique 4 or 6-digit PIN code and physical debit card to withdraw cash. Another example is an app, where the first level of security is your password and the second element is your cellphone.
Accessing mobile apps and online accounts with OTP or One Time Password sent via SMS or text message. OTPs shared are random 4 or 6 digits and difficult to guess. The time frame for use is between 30-60 seconds. So along with your login credentials, you need to verify your phone number or email by entering the OTP for verification.
Passports are used for identity verification during international travel. The second verification level is to confirm you are a National citizen of the Passport issuing country. Verification with the use of fingerprint matching and retina scan is quite common.
How 2FA Helps in Authentication
As 2FA is an additional layer of protection ensures that the user seeking admission to a web account is the same person they claim to be. Firstly, a consumer will enter his username & strong password. Then, instead of gaining the right of entry to their data, they need to verify additionally by providing more add-on information. Such 2nd set of information should originate from one of the following categories:
Types of 2fa or Two Factor Authentication
When you have 2FA for websites and mobile apps, you are safeguarding yourself from a potential easy compromise even if somebody gets access to your first level of credentials. Anyone can have your password if your cellphone is misplaced. The possibility of somebody else having your 2FA authentication method is very low. Generally, gazing at it from a different perspective, if a user uses 2FA correctly, websites and mobile apps can be more affirmed about the consumer’s identification and allow access to your account.
Something users know: It needs to be non-public identification information like a unique PIN, a unique, strong password, self-selected personal answers shared for “secret questions,” or unique multiple keystroke combinations.
Only you have something a user might have physically or logically in their possession, e.g. a debit or credit card, a telephone, or a hardware token device like Duo.
Something you’re: This is a superior way of 2fa auth, as it includes second-level verification with biometric authentication like fingerprint mapping, voice recognition, facial recognition, and retina scans.
Types of 2FA
Nowadays several forms of second level authentication are used. A few may be comparatively stronger or more complicated than others. In the process, all always offer much more precaution and protection from using only passwords. Listed below are the most common types of 2FA.
Hardware Tokens as 2FA
Hardware tokens are small key-like devices. Generally known as the fob, it is like a small USB stick. The fob displays a new random numeric code every 30 seconds. Hence when a user enters his credential for access, he needs to even enter the random code generated on the fob. This random code displayed is the 2FA code. Entering the 2fa using hardware into the website or a mobile app enables restricted access. Other variations of hardware tokens also periodically generate random 2FA code as plugged into a USB port or operated with cells.
Though, at first, they sound secure, there are some limitations. For companies, distributing those devices is an expensive affair, and the probability of customers losing the same is also high as they are pretty small in size. Also, as they are standalone devices, a smart programmer can decode the logic and hack it easily. Thus such hardware tokens are not completely safe.
SMS Short Text-Message & Voice-based Totally 2FA
One Time Passwords(OTP) are generally used as the 2FA method. Such OTP is sent via SMS on the user’s phone. They are commonly known as OTP SMS. The OTP is directly sent to a user’s smartphone. Hence after receiving a username with a password, the website online sends the person a unique one-time passcode (OTP) via SMS text message. Similar to the hardware token use case, a consumer should use the OTP again before entering the utility. Similarly, voice-primarily based 2FA mechanically dials a consumer and verbally can provide the 2FA code. It’s commonly used where smartphones are not widely used. Or where the cellular data provider is not up to the mark.
It’s adequate for use when the online risk is low. Using authentication by OTP SMS or voice calls may be ideal. But when the website is going to save your private information, in such a case, a level of 2FA won’t be enough. SMS is the simplest way of authenticating customers. Due to this, many companies have started upgrading their safety by shifting beyond using SMS as a 2FA.
Software Tokens as 2FA
Its most famous form of 2-factor authentication is to use software-generated time-based, one-time passcode. Time-based one-time password (TOTP) is a simple software program that generates a one-time password (OTP) using the current time as a source for uniqueness. This is TOTP or “smooth token.”
Authy by Twillio is the best Two-factor Authentication app and offers a Cloud-Based API Solution. It’s always wise to integrate their solution instead of building your security for websites and mobile apps. There are many other popular authenticator apps available for integration.
Firstly, consumers should download the free 2FA authenticator app on their mobile devices or laptop. After that, they can use the 2fa app with any website that supports such authentication. During login, the user first enters a username and password, inputting the random code shown on the app. This is similar to the hardware tokens; smooth-token is normally valid for 60 seconds or less. As the second code level is now generated on the device & used on the same, smooth-tokens eliminate the risk of hacking attempts. Thus overtaking the problem showcased with SMS or voice transport OTPs.
As such 2FA solutions are available on desktops, laptops, phones, or even wearables and devices and support working online & offline. The customer’s second level of authentication is possible online or offline very easily.
Instead of depending on receiving the 2FA token. Push notifications help in proactive thinking when implemented on websites and mobile apps. Now whenever the web or mobile app detects an intrusion or unknown login attempt, it proactively generates a push notification that an access attempt is in progress. The device user needs to approve or deny permission with a tap or click. This system is passwordless authentication and does not require any manual codes to enter or any other form of intervention.
By such a connection, the 2FA provider & the tool push notification removes all the opportunity for phishing or unauthorized access. It is most effective when the devices are connected online. And fails in areas wherein data connectivity and smart device usage are low. But when implemented, it’s the best choice as it’s a user-friendly form of security.
Other types of Two Factor Authentication
Biometric 2FA is the most common and popular form of 2fa. Also, many innovations to verify users based on their retina scans, fingerprints & facial recognition is emerging. Other options like heartbeats, pulse, speaking styles, typing patterns & styles can also be used. It’s quite possible, looking at how technology is growing, but we can not ignore that hackers can also determine biometric hacking.
Best Ways of Two-factor Authentication
Some spending may additionally aid push notifications in place of a code, wherein in place of asking you to manually type in a code, the site sends you a notification to your cellphone, and you press a button to approve the login. Sometimes this step asks you to match a code between your phone and your pc, as you may have accomplished with Bluetooth devices; at the same time, in different instances, it suggests a choice to approve or deny the login. Comparatively, push notifications are easy to use compared to TOTP.
Many websites, like Google or Facebook, ask for the second layer when you sign in from new gadgets (or in an exceptional browser), so it’s not as even though you need to do it every time. Even authenticator mobile apps are used to allow safe login for two-factor authentication.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recommends Two-factor authentication. You don’t want to enable -aspect authentication everywhere; David Temoshok at NIST advocated using two-thing authentication for “something that’s coping with personal facts, the gathering of private facts, or the upkeep of private data.” You ought to permit -issue authentication on your password supervisor, electronic mail, any cloud backup services you operate, banks, social media profiles, chat apps, and any app, along with your fitness and health statistics.
If you don’t take the desired measures for a potential account healing throughout the setup technique. You may permanently lockout out any account you enable -thing authentication.
Risks Associated with 2FA
2FA also has a few dangers. In an email interview, Stuart Schechter mentioned that by losing your cellphone, you could lose admission to the 2-factor authentication app. To recover your 2FA app and get back into your app, you should store the backup codes safely. While enabling two-factor authentication, account recovery should be considered. If you don’t consider it, you could be permanently locked out of any account on that you permit two-aspect authentication.
Although two-factor authentication can shield against more basic phishing attempts. A proxy website that seems like a login web page may steal your password. Two-factor authentication remains prone to extra advanced phishing attempts. For instance, someone can replicate a site and fool you into entering your username, password, and two-issue authentication token.
Unlike stealing passwords, an attacker needs to grab a second authentication software program token in real time for it to be useful. There aren’t a ton of facts supporting phishing attempts like this. However, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center acquired 25,344 reports of phishing in 2017. The FBI does warn about the dangers of each SIM swapping and phishing tool, but -2fa authentication remains effective in protecting. You must send reviews of phishing attempts to the FTC, but because the general public doesn’t, it’s tough to understand how frequently such phishing attempts occur.
Why Passwords Are Considered Bad, But Still Popular
How and why did passwords get unsafe? As per records, in 1961, MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) evolved the Compatible Time-Sharing System (CTSS) to ensure every student can get an equal opportunity to use computers. Hence all college students were required to sign in with a unique password. In a couple of weeks, many students found ways to hack the system, guess and print out other students’ passwords, and secure more laptop time for themselves by using other users’ passwords.
All the usernames and passwords chosen by the students were different, but the fact was that it was a popular form of authentication. The students were able to hack the system to extend their access. The whole idea of having a password was to make the guessing of the password difficult. It was identified that passwords are not foolproof form of authentication due to below reasons :-
Common Reasons Why Passwords Are Not Reliable
Poor Memory:- As per the analysis of the leaked password of more than 1.4+ billion users. There were easy-to-guess passwords, and no attempt was made to secure them. A few examples were as follows:- “123456”, “111111”,”222222″,”333333″, “012345”,“123456789”, “asdfgh”,“qwerty,” and the most simple one was “password”. As you can imagine, there are a few key combinations that everyone can try to crack a password. One more thing you could make out is that the sole reason for creating such a password was that the user wanted something easy for the user to remember.
Multiple accounts & multiple passwords: Having multiple accounts on the same site or on different sites with the same username. The most common practice is to subsequently use the same passwords across many websites and mobile apps. This is generally termed password recycling. Can you guess why hackers adore the Recycling Password trend, as it takes a few attempts to the hacking software and checks lots of stolen credentials against attempts to login into a new website? Recycled credentials are the ones that are used every time everywhere by users. There are huge chances the same credentials can provide easy access to some other site.
Fatigue creeps in: To secure themselves, many users create complex alphanumeric passwords, which are tougher for attackers to crack. It’s a nice idea as the strength of passwords increases by using more strong and highly secure passwords & combination of special characters and numbers. But as frequent breaches appear daily on the dark web, where users’ personal and unique credentials get published. Many users surrender and roll back to using the easiest passwords again for multiple accounts.
Why Passwords Are Not Good Enough for Security?
Password is the most common way of authentication. But we never realize that passwords have many obligations, such as:
- Weak Passwords: Hackers can crack easy passwords in seconds. Most people use easy-to-remember passwords like “12345678” or “password.” These are so easy to crack that even a child could do it.
- Phishing: Phishing is when someone pretends to be you to steal your identity and account credentials. An example of phishing would be someone sending an email asking you to update your password. Such an email can have an attachment or link that looks like it came from your bank or other important institution.
- Brute force: Brute force attacks try every possible combination of letters and numbers until they find one that works. Hackers may try millions of combinations even if you use a strong password. This process is too slow for them, but if they require it, they can wait by automating the process.
Two-factor authentication offers better security in websites and mobile apps. Passwords are a bad way to secure your online accounts. Passwords are not a reliable way to keep your information safe online. Because anyone who knows you can easily guess and steal your password. Two-factor authentication (2FA) is the best method for keeping your online accounts safe. 2FA adds an extra layer of security by requiring you to enter two different pieces of information. It is a password and a code or something only you know or can access, like a phone number. To get access to your account only after OTP verification.
Strong Password and Two Factor a Great Combination
One of the most common security concerns is that your password isn’t strong enough. But this is a myth.
Writing down passwords on a piece of paper or a book is the biggest problem. As they aren’t security experts., they use common keywords or dates of birth as passwords. If you have a password that someone else knows, it’s no longer secure. That’s why you should use two-factor authentication (2FA). It’s an extra layer of protection that means only you can gain access to your account.
You are a lot safer if you have a strong password and use two-factor authentication (2FA). As compared to someone who uses a weak password and disabled 2FA. But even if you do everything right, it’s still possible for hackers to steal your identity. Weak passwords can be hacked by simple guessing. They may also give away their passwords if its on a piece of paper or sent in an email.
Hackers who breach the user’s account can then use that information to access other accounts and sites. It’s widespread that they may access your bank accounts and e-commerce sites to do damage. In addition, when users share their passwords with friends or family members. Their personal information is at risk because anyone can access those accounts. Mobile authenticator apps like Google Authenticator or Authy by Twilio are thus recommended for integration while developing websites and mobile apps.
Why Everyone Should Use Two factor or 2FA
As per a published report, stolen or lost devices are reused as sources of passwords. Thus secured passwords saved on devices are the leading cause of data breaches. Thus, passwords are nevertheless the principal (or simplest) manner many organization safeguard their customers. The best part of cybercrime in the news is that 2FA consciousness is picking up, and users are worried while sharing their data, even with the big corporations they deal with. Thus companies are forced to adopt two-factor authentication on top of secured passwords, and thus companies have improved their security.
Top 6 Best Authenticator Apps for 2022
Mobile authenticator apps’ multi-factor authentication facilitates securely logging into online accounts and websites. These are the top 6 Multi-Factor Authentication MFA authenticator apps we’ve tested.
|Authenticator app||Price||Play Store Link||Apple Store Link|
|2FAS Authenticator App||Free|
|Duo Mobile Authenticator App||Free|
|Google Authenticator App||Free|
|LastPass Authenticator App||Free|
|Microsoft Authenticator App||Free|
|Twilio Authy: Authenticator App||Free|
In conclusion, If you believe in the old saying “Prevention is better than Cure,” then “Everybody Should adopt 2FA”. I am pretty sure after reading this article, you realize that to safeguard yourself from getting hacked, Two-factor Authentication or 2fa is the best option. Instead, later regret it when you see your data has been compromised. It is pretty clear that two-factor authentication is an important security measure. Hence as a standard, every website & mobile app should be developed with two-factor authentication. 2fa provides an extra layer of protection against unauthorized access and can help to prevent data breaches. So if you are developing any website or mobile apps for any industry vertical, developing and integrating two-factor authentication and other security measures is advised. So to implement two-factor authentication in your applications using any authenticator apps or any other form, contact us today.