Best Two-Factor vs. Multi-Factor Authentication Options
By Kayla Hamahashi
February 16, 2022
Heightened by digital transformation, the obstacles that companies are faced with continue to multiply and change. A transition to more digital-heavy operations has created substantial security problems within organizations and businesses. As the digitalization of companies progresses, security measures must be taken to keep up with this acceleration. Fortunately, there are numerous two-factor and multi-factor authentication tools that mitigate such security risks brought on by digital transformation.
The Impact of Digital Transformation
Digital transformation influences companies to rethink how they operate. Specifically, it emphasizes the use of digital technology in all aspects of a business.
In 2018, Fortinet conducted a survey about digital transformation and its impact on security in businesses. While results revealed that 92% of security leaders stated that digital transformation has a large impact on business, 85% of them also claimed that security issues were the biggest barriers to digital transformation efforts. Notably, digital transformation during the pandemic has formed an even bigger security gap due to the quick mass adoption of digital technologies.
To shrink this gap, ensuring data protection using authentication tools is essential.
Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a type of authentication that requires two pieces of evidence to verify a user’s identity. It is also a subset of multi-factor authentication. After inputting a username and password when accessing an application, users will be met with the requirement to provide another form of authentication.
Different forms can consist of a personal identification number (PIN), a biometric pattern (such as a fingerprint), or answers to specific questions. If a user is unable to provide a second form of authentication, they will not be granted access to the application. With 2FA in use, users are better protected from identity theft and related security risks.
Authy: Regarded as one of the simplest 2FA tools, Authy is an authentication application perfect for Android and iOS users. It is compatible with several websites, some being Cloudfare, Twitch, and Pinterest. Authy requires users to create a token to authenticate their identity and gain access to a service or application. When attempting to intertwine 2FA into your business operations, Authy is a secure option.
humanID: As an anonymous, bot-resistant 2FA solution, humanID creates an additional layer of safety and security for users. This single sign-on (SSO) tool requires users to input a PIN which is sent to their phone number to confirm authorized login access. Once a user verifies their identity through the authorization process, their phone number is erased from humanID’s data servers. humanID provides extra security with this feature in addition to being a 2FA tool.
LastPass: As a password manager, LastPass is compatible with Android, iOS, and Windows. It acts as a secure vault where users can store their login information for different applications and services. Their new application, LastPass Authenticator, can be accessed by users with current LastPass Personal accounts. However, LastPass Authenticator only protects and secures passwords already stored in the vault.
Similar to 2FA, multi-factor authentication (MFA) requires users to provide additional pieces of evidence proving that the user is who they claim to be logging in as. The pieces of evidence needed are identical to those required by 2FA. However, while 2FA only needs two security factors, MFA requires two or more.
Since login information such as passwords can be easily compromised, having several layers of security makes it more difficult for cyber attacks to occur. Therefore, MFA can provide better defense in comparison to 2FA in some cases.
Auth0: Easy to implement, Auth0 is an authentication and authorization platform considered to be one of the top leading MFA companies. It is a fully-featured and highly customizable tool that can provide secure access to any application. Auth0 is best known for streamlining the login process and ensuring a seamless user experience.
Duo Security: Keeping your personal information secure is Duo Security’s first priority. It provides flexibility for integration with other providers/platforms and uses a zero trust security model. This approach assumes that devices, users, etc. cannot be trusted. As a result, it believes every access attempt is coming from an untrusted network. Once trust is established and demonstrated per each login session, access is granted.
Ping Identity: Different identity management and identity access management (IAM) features are offered by Ping Identity. It is a cloud-based platform that helps companies effectively use SSO and MFA. With easy configuration abilities and high interoperability with other applications, Ping Identity is a reliable software that uses adaptive authentication controls that enable secure access.
How Authentication Tools Protect Users
Identifying yourself with more than a username and password is the key to reducing the likelihood of data breaches and security issues. 2FA and MFA tools consistently prove to be sufficient forms of seamless, secure authentication. From Authy to Ping Identity, these are just a few of the many authentication platforms being offered today. While similar, every tool offers slightly different features and can be a better fit for small vs. large businesses.
For example, the way humanID differs from other tools is its emphasis on anonymity. By never storing personal information, users can feel confident about their private data being safe from hackers. With the growth of digital transformation quickly accelerating, businesses must prioritize cybersecurity through the adoption and implementation of authentication platforms.