Two Factor Authentication

Two Factor Authentication

Australia has seen an 80% increase in scams in the last year alone.  As such, the implementation of two factor authentication (2FA) has become a necessity in this digital world. Usernames and passwords alone are not enough to protect us. As such, without the implementation of two factor authentication, it’s not a matter of “if” but “when” a hacker will access your systems and data.

What is Two Factor Authentication?

Two factor authentication provides the extra layer of security that prevents anyone else logging into your device. As a result, with 2FA, you need to verify your identity using a unique 6-digit code each time you log in.  Best of all, it has been very successful by effectively blocking 99.9% of automated attacks. 

However, as scammers are becoming increasingly more sophisticated, attackers are quickly finding more ways to weaken 2FA.  For instance, through one time SMS codes sent to smartphones. Most concerning is that this method of 2FA (via SMS codes) is currently used by our big four banks as well as government services.

What’s the problem?

2FA that uses SMS and voice calls are renowned for having poor security. As a result, it leaves us open to many different attacks.  For example, hackers can use mirroring apps to see your texts and as a result bypass 2FA security.  There are other methods hackers use including SIM Swapping. This involves the hacker contacting the victims mobile service provider, convincing them that they are the victim of a cyber attack. As such, they are requesting “as the victim”, to switch the mobile number they are hacking, to a device of their choice.

Microsoft has urged major vendors to abandon 2FA solutions that require SMS or voice calls. Click here to read the full article.  Overall, it’s important to understand the various ways your devices could potentially be vulnerable.

The Best Way to Implement Two Factor Authentication.

Limit the use of SMS as a two-factor authentication method where possible.  Instead, use app-based one-time codes such as Google Authenticator.  However, whilst this is a better solution, it too is not bullet proof.  To read the full article, click here.

Overall, it has never been more important to implement security features to protect your data.  If you would like more information on security, call Techstream Solutions today.  Our expert team of IT security specialists will assess your infrastructure and provide effective solutions to mitigate the risk of a cyber attack.

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