Posted by: RAH Infotech | February 20, 2015

Two-Factor Authentication

The year 2014 has witnessed severe security breaches in big companies like Sony, JP Morgan Chase, Google, eBay and many more. The breaches are a wakeup call to augment security measures by choosing smart security systems. Organisations have to evaluate their existing security practices against their business requirements and objectives. Such practices will help organisations build unsurpassable security perimeters to protect their critical information.

The environment is ever evolving with threats and the corporate network is being constantly challenged. Enterprises are falling victims to unrelenting attacks that aim at physical and logical infrastructures, user identities, network devices, mobile platforms and vulnerable points.

The good news is that technology evangelists are also working relentlessly to counter the attacks and are building strong defensive mechanisms. Two-factor authentication likely to be one of the leading trends in 2015. Two-factor authentication provides clear-cut identification of users by using a combination of two different factors. These factors may be something that the user knows, something that the user possesses or something that is inseparable from the user.

The user gets to pass only when he successfully presents authentication factors from at least two of the three categories namely, Knowledge factor – input that only the user knows, such as passwords. Possession factor – things only the user has, such as a bank card. Inherence factor – something only specific to the user, such as biometrics. Requirement to produce more than one independent factor creates the difficulty of providing false authorizations. Hence, making the system free from compromises.

The trends inherent to business today like increased mobility, cloud adoption, increased amount of data sharing online and upsurge of social media poses the need to implement strong authentication more than ever. The IT departments can no longer rely on network parameters guarded by username and password as security credentials. There are many users, substantial information and numerous entry points to safeguard. With applications and critical data online strong authentication is required to enable and protect the business.

Apart from the focus on identity, strong authentication should be pervasive, clear and risk-based. To keep up with the standards, organisations are seeking cost-effective and efficient authentication measures that provides the users a safe and enhanced experience.

It is imperative for the success of the authentication that organisations educate users about the threats and the channels through which the organisations are at risk. In addition to it, a review has to be made on a few factors like the requirement and access level of the user groups, provision of suitable limit of application security based on the level of risk of an activity, protection of identity and sensitive data in related applications, protection of cloud based and on premise data and applications, constantly explore ways to be protected from risks by being updated with the threats and never to take security measures for granted.

Two-factor authentication plays a vital role – by securing access to business networks, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and cloud applications, protecting the identities of users, and ensuring that a user is authentic.

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