Five Use Cases for Two-Factor Authentication and How Managed IT Services Can Implement It
News & Events

Five Use Cases for Two-Factor Authentication

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

One of the things managed IT services can help you with is boosting your security. With solutions like two-factor authentication (2FA), the right partner can protect you from data breaches and account takeover attacks.

As 2FA becomes more common, now is the time to think about using it.

How does 2FA work?

Users need to enter a name and password to access sites and applications. With 2FA in place, they need one more piece of information. After all, criminals can steal usernames and passwords. It’s a growing issue — over 15 billion stolen passwords are up for sale on the dark web.

A 2FA system verifies knowledge by asking the user to give data only the user would know. A common example is a security question. It can also use an object that only the user has. For instance, the system can send a unique code to the user’s phone.

And with innovations like fingerprint sensors, 2FA systems can use biometrics. Apple Pay and Android Pay already use fingerprints for secure payments.

Is the hassle worth it?

Users want experiences that are quick and easy. Adding a step to the login process can seem like an inconvenience.

If you’re wondering if 2FA is worth it, the answer is yes. First of all, it’s a small extra step. Managed IT services can help you find a 2FA method that is user-friendly. Opening a text or answering one more question takes only a few seconds. And with new technology, biometrics can make this process even easier.

People are getting used to 2FA. In fact, Google recently enrolled 150 million users in its 2FA program. It’s something users see often, and they know how to do this process. Plus, the cybersecurity benefits outweigh any potential drawbacks. Passwords aren’t enough. Data breaches are common and 60% of people reuse their passwords, so it’s likely that a criminal could use stolen passwords to access accounts.

You should also know that cyberattacks are on the rise. Between 2019 and 2020, account takeovers rose by 20%. The risk of being targeted is higher than ever. Besides, there is a growing awareness of these threats among users. People want to know that you’re doing something to protect them. With 2FA in place, you send a clear message that you’re being proactive about security. It can make both consumers and partners feel confident.

From a financial point of view, the cost of 2FA is low compared to the cost of a data breach. In 2021, a data breach cost an average of $4.24 million. You will also save money by handling fewer help requests linked to account takeover. Plus, managed IT services can help you find a solution that works for your budget.

Five use cases for 2FA

Managed IT services in San Antonio can help you go over your current risks and recommend where you should implement 2FA. The following examples are common uses for this strategy.

1. Account creation

Using 2FA during account creation has two purposes. It helps you verify the email or phone number used is valid. It also prevents criminals from creating accounts with fake identities.

Further, you can tie 2FA into your onboarding process. For instance, you can send a welcome email that doubles as a 2FA step with a verification link. Clicking the link in this email helps with engagement and makes users safer.

2. Financial transactions

In-person payments and ATM use rely on 2FA since people need to have a card and PIN. With close to $10 billion lost each year to card-not-present fraud, there is a need for this same level of security online.

Banks are focusing on security with optional 2FA to protect online accounts. Card issuers are also embracing this trend with 2FA built into digital payment processes. For instance, users can get a code via text or use two-way texting to approve a payment.

3. Unrecognized device or location

Keeping an eye on a user’s habits can tell you when something is off. Managed IT services in San Antonio can help you adopt a 2FA system that looks at login attempts and kicks in when something changes.

For instance, you can ask a user to complete an extra step if they use a different device. You can also use 2FA for logins that come from unusual locations. A system that looks at the time of day can also be useful if users don’t tend to log in outside of work hours.

Any changes in pattern can reveal a fake login attempt. If a data point stands out, 2FA can keep you safe. The great thing about this approach is that managed IT services can help you choose which data points you want to track based on your unique risks.

4. Account recovery

Users need an account recovery feature in case they forget their password. This is something managed IT services in San Antonio can help you build. However, criminals can use this feature to take over an account. A common practice is to gain access to an email address and use reset password links to access additional accounts.

With 2FA in place, you’re helping real users recover their accounts safely while keeping criminals out.

5. Sensitive data

Depending on your industry, it might make sense to adopt 2FA for all login attempts. In fact, government websites and contractors have to use this method for all logins.

Managed IT services in San Antonio can help you review your needs and determine if you need 2FA for all logins or for other parts of your system.

You can use 2FA only when users try changing or deleting data. You can also create data tiers and ask people to provide an extra piece of information to access sensitive data.

This approach can be a good way to protect your data for HIPAA compliance. You might also be able to build custom data tiers and permissions based on your unique risks.

How managed IT services can help with 2FA

Adopting 2FA is only a minor inconvenience for users. Besides, the benefits are greater than the pitfalls. Cyberattacks are becoming more common and more severe, but 2FA can be a great defense against account takeover and data breaches.

SecureTech offers managed IT services in San Antonio. We can help you adopt 2FA to keep your data safe. Contact us for a tech business review so we can find where you need 2FA