If you are dealing with sensitive information in your organization, then implementing a secure 2 factor authentication system is one of the steps you ought to take. Passwords are hardly effective on their own, as users often pick passwords that are vulnerable to dictionary attacks. Implementing this system may prove challenging when it comes to adoption by its users.
Consider the User’s Attitude
One of the problems you may encounter is the transition to a system that requires keying in information. Many users may already be used to either logging the system without keying in passwords or only adding one or two digits into a text box.
The infrastructure used for this form of cloud authentication can be implemented in several ways. One way is to require that the 2FA be only applied for remote workers. Remote workers provide a higher level of risk and are vulnerable to all manner of attacks, though the organizations wireless system.
Limiting its Application
The system may also be implemented by requiring that only the most vulnerable groups such as remote workers and people using the Virtual Private Networks be required to use this form of authentication. The workers on site should however be screened as they go from one room to another.
SMS provide an out of network secure channel for delivering the codes. However, the Smartphone provides more possibilities than SMS 2 Factor authentication, particularly if you are looking to enable the users to avoid keying in a lot of information. Image codes may be entered though simply touching the screen.
How well the system is adopted by the user will depend mainly on its design, against what the user is used to. A good system should not burden the user with codes, particularly if the resources they are trying to access are not vulnerable to attacks. Therefore the key to the adoption of the cloud authentication system lies in its design.
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.
A secure 2 factor authentication service has security as its main objective. However, security is not always the only objective. Some providers specialize in making companies in the health and other critical sectors comply with regulations. Some of these companies are only interested in compliance only.
Security and Compliance
The problem is that some of the providers are so used to serving such clients that they forget that a secure 2 factor authentication service should also provide security. Organizations seeking to secure their sensitive information as well as transactions should check to see if the kind of system the providers will implement is suitable for them.
The Mobile Phone Factor
Another myth is that two factor authentication (2FA) services are all the same, with minor difference between them. This used to be the case before the proliferation of mobile phones world wide. The token systems used for 2FA then were less varied than they are now.
The current two factor authentication mobile systems have added an almost infinite number of possibilities that can be used to provide a stronger security system. The options vary from mobile apps for Android and IOS, text messaging system and fixed line verification systems.
Availability of Devices
The different systems may not be suitable for you situation. In fact, if you pick the wrong system you may discourage the user to use the 2FA, further compromising the security of the system. Mobile apps for smart phones are the best if they are designed properly, however not everyone can use them or has the required device.
Two factor authentication mobile systems for text messaging may be a more appropriate option where people have different types of devices. It may prevent users from abandoning the process and compromising security. It is therefore important to do an analysis before choosing the type of authentication process to implement.
In the past two years or so, the cloud authentication service has blown up. Big online companies like Google, Twitter and even Facebook have offered this extra layer of security to help its users feel more secure. Even though these two levels of authentication have been around since the late 90s, there is a reason why it became popular in the last two years.
The SMS Factor
SMS 2 factor authentication became popular because more people own a mobile phone now more than ever. Mobile phones have become ubiquitous both in the developed world and in the third world. However, there is a difference between a strong secure system and one that is not.
A strong cloud authentication system will have a good implementation of a one time password or code. This code ought to expire within a fixed period of time. The code is received through text messaging to the recipient’s mobile phone and he has to respond within a specified period of time before the code expires.
The fact that the code expires means that it will not allow hackers time to do a search on codes. The strong cloud authentication system will reject a code that is entered after that period and therefore limits the time that hackers will have to go through different codes.
For the system to be stronger, the code has to be encrypted. Many hackers will use Trojan horses and other malware to send information to their servers. If the code is not encrypted they will simply have an easy time getting through to the account.
A highly encrypted SMS 2 factor authentication combined with an expiring code, can give a very high level of security to the organization, whether it is a bank or an IT organization. This is one of the most reliable and cost effective systems that is going to define the future of internet security.
Security of data and information has become a much debated topic. There are many organizations who are worried about the security of their data storage and management system. However, they have put the advanced security measures in place. But many of their features such as static user-names and passwords, have become weaker and their are tools available using which they can be easily surpassed. Apart from that, many experts even believe that they are not strong enough to protect the system against malware, phishing and other fraud attacks. It is due to such reasons there is a urgent need of the better equipped and advanced security solutions.
There are many disadvantages of using systems which have static user-names and passwords. The most prominent is that the users easily forget their user-names and passwords. Apart from that, they write it down in some page and then loose or throw it away. This is the reason, it is believed such security systems pose a serious risk or threat. To control it, leading organizations are pushing the research and development agencies to come up with some solution using which the present remote accessing of sensitive information can be made more risk free.
Two factor authentication solutions is a recently introduced security solution, which is being used by many agencies and organizations to counter the growing number of fraud attacks. In this method, identity of the user is authenticated on two different levels. In first level the user has to enter their user-name and password. Once they get through this security wall, a one-time password or key is sent to their mail id or mobile phone. It is only after entering this temporary key, the user can get complete access of their accounts and storage system.
In current times two factor based authentication system is the most preferred security solution measures. The most vital aspect of this security solution is that there is no way, it can be surpassed or broken. Apart from that, the leading research institutes have invested a significant amount on Cloud authentication, which when activated can boost the performance of this security solution.
Once upon a time, financial dealing with bank used to be complex, complicated and irksome. Customers have to travel all the way to the bank and wait in the queue to deposit and withdraw money. However things things have changed now and thanks to digital revolution banking has become comparatively much easier. Now there is no need of visiting bank to transfer or deposit money. Apart from that, presence of significant number of ATM has also made money withdrawal much easier and comfortable.
Every bank now offers online banking facility to their customers. There are many advantages and benefits of this facility. The prominent of them is that it has made money transfer, utilities payment and host of other functions easier and comfortable.
It is believed that these internet based banking services will very soon gain universal acceptance in banking sector. With the growing use of Smart-Phones, there will further growth in the number of customers who will eventually switch to web based banking solutions. This will intensify the number of online transactions and a significant amount of business will take place on internet.
Growing use of technology has made banking comfortable for customers. However, it has exposed the same customers and their hard earned money to tech-savvy hackers who have the potential to break into sophisticated data systems. These hackers have the required spy-ware, using which they can track any online transactions, follow it, collect the required information and get the money in the account divert to their accounts.
There is no doubt, that doing online transaction of money is quite a risky affair. However, almost all the banking institutions are taking many steps to improve the security of their possessed information. They have started this strengthening program by applying Two factor authentication mobile internet security system.
The prime advantage of this system is that it strengthens the banking based web applications. With the help of this system, users do not have to remain careful with their online transfer. Although, one should be more careful with their passwords. According to the experts, stronger passwords must be used and it should be changed regularly.