As mobile devices grow in popularity, the true potential of cloud has been revealed. This enables users to have a lot of flexibility in terms running their business at a marginal cost as they no longer need hardware and bulky desktop servers. But security is always the question that bugs most people when they are offered the opportunity to transfer online their important data and files. Cloud authentication is one way to address this problem.
Another level of security
SMS two-factor authentication is a much more secure way to secure your cloud server, as opposed to the token-based authentication which has shown some vulnerability to skilled hackers. But anybody who tells you that they can offer a 100% guarantee is probably lying. Even the Pentagon, with its highest level of security, is hacked every now and then. A breach in security is a combination of a lot of factors, not least of which is someone privy to the information who is willing to sell the secret. Nevertheless, it’s important that you make use of the cloud authentication services in order to provide your data with another layer of security.
Two types of authentication
The cloud authentication password can be sent through the email or the SMS. You might think it’s simple enough but there’s a lot of technology behind that authentication prompt in order to protect online data. The service providers offer server/client protocol to authenticate users trying to log into their accounts.
An example of the cloud authentication process is when you register an email account and you are asked a security question that only you know the answer to. The token authentication or the SMS 2 factor authentication key itself is protected with a personal identification number which makes it harder for other users to log into your account.
Hackers thrive on predictability. When you use a single password for all your accounts such as email, Google+, Facebook, Linkedln or Twitter, you are actually exposing yourself to a lot of risks because hackers can trace the crumbs you leave behind all over the Internet to guess your password. The SMS two-factor authentication will help mitigate these risks.
Who was your first grade teacher? Who was your favourite author growing up? What was the name of your first pet? Quick! If you do forget, there goes your chance of accessing your account. You might consider this a pet peeve but secure two-factor authentication service has been around for a long time. And even if it’s not really tamper-proof (nothing really is sacred for hackers of today), it does give you another layer of security other than your primary password if in case somebody tries to tamper with your account.
You probably vaguely remember a long time ago answering the above questions when you created your email account, and you answered in bemusement without fully grasping the relevance of the questions. Perhaps, you were not entirely true about your answers and years later when you are prompted, you forgot.
But questions are not just involved in the two-factor authentication for mobile, email or social networking sites. They could also involve your PIN number, ATM and in some cases, there are actually apps now for mobile that takes in your fingerprints as the second triggering device in order to access your phone or account.
Not novel concept
A secure two-factor authentication service is not in any way an innovative concept. But they add nothing new to the log-in process except perhaps a minor inconvenience. However, that’s a good trade-off considering the alternative: that you are going to expose your accounts to hackers and identity thieves by taking away the security layer.
So the bottom-line really is, are you willing to risk your security for a minor hassle?
Crux of the matter
But it all goes back to the original premise: will a secure two-factor authentication service protect you? Part of the problem can be traced to the fact that some two-factor authentication or 2FA providers actually serve as phishing sites themselves. That’s why it’s very important to work with a legitimate service provider. A good hacker can always recover your account or obtain your password as well as your 2FA question though malwares or phishing techniques. The idea, however, is to make them second guess and attack somebody else with less than secured account.