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The Different Types of 2FA Methods Available for Businesses to Use

Types of 2FA

2-factor authentication has emerged as a quick and easy way to make transactions more secure. Increasing password bypassing and phishing tricks have made integrating 2FA a must-have for any business, especially Financial Services. A report found that they are the biggest targets of data theft as they are 300 times more likely to suffer cyber-attacks. Unsurprisingly, investment in cyber security has increased. For instance, in 2022, about $71.68 billion was spent on cybersecurity; this number is expected to exceed $76 billion in 2023. 

This investment has led to the development of several 2FA methods to counter the threat of data breaches. This article closely examines these 2FA methods, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses. 

Choosing the Right 2FA Methods for your Business

Choosing the Right

If you provide services for BFSI customers, you must select the best method. 2FA methods are broadly classified into three categories: something you know, something you have, and something you are. Let’s go into more detail. 

Something You Know 2FA Method 

This type of 2-factor authentication method involves what you can memorize and recall easily. Examples of this include PINs and Passwords and security questions. Unfortunately, this is the weakest type of 2FA method. A user can forget his password, and hackers can hijack it. The user’s password may also be too weak and susceptible to brute-force attacks. A brute force attack involves guessing the user’s password using different combinations until it is cracked. 

According to Verizon’s Data Breach Investigation Report, weak passwords are the leading cause of data breaches worldwide, making up 80%. The common passwords that are easily compromised include “qwerty” “password,” “abc123,” etc. Security experts advised that alphanumeric passwords are more difficult to crack by cyber criminals. 

Pros

  • Most common 2FA, which is easy to use for all persons. 
  • Simple to use, although it needs strong passwords to guarantee safety. 

Cons

  • Easy to break through phishing and brute force. 
  • Issues of forgotten passwords are common, especially for people with short-term memory problems. 
  • Users need to create new passwords regularly to prevent breaches. 

Something You Have 2FA Method

Something You Have 2FA Method

2FA methods here means physical devices such as a token to generate 2-step verification codes. Other examples of something you have a 2FA method are USB drives, Smart Keys, and Smartphones, deemed more convenient by 73% of users. These devices add another layer of security by generating random Time-Based Passwords, which a user inputs to confirm his identity. The codes are sent to the user’s phone number for confirmation. 

Pros 

  • Because these devices are in the physical possession of the user, it is much more difficult for a hacker to access the codes generated. It would take physical theft of the devices for a user’s data to be compromised. 
  • SMS OTPs are some of the easiest types of 2FA available. 
  • SMS OTP requires no Internet connection, but other devices may need to be connected to work. 

Cons

  • This method is quite expensive to implement as it involves the costly purchase and distribution of tokens. 
  • Another issue is that they may easily be misplaced since they are small. 
  • Hackers can clone the user’s SIM to access the OTPs sent. 

Something You Are 2FA Method

Something You Are 2FA Method

This method uses an inherent part of a person to verify their account. Examples are biometric verification, retina scanning, voice recognition, or face recognition. Usually, this method is the strongest because it cannot be duplicated, and only the individual can confirm the transaction. The FBI recommends Biometrics as part of Multifactor Authentication for businesses to secure user data.

Pros

  • There are no expenses associated with the distribution of tokens and hardware. 
  • Harder to break into by hackers
  • Easy to use since the user’s body parts are used. 

Cons

  • The user must have a fingerprint scanner or iris scanner installed, which may sometimes need fixing. For instance, where the finger is wet, it may not work, or, the retina scanner may malfunction in low light conditions. 
  • Biometric verification is subject to compliance regulations concerning data protection, making it expensive and stressful to implement. 

A combination of these methods ensures better security and reduces the incidence of hacking of user details. Knowing how each works is the first step to choosing the most suitable option for your business. 

Implementing 2FA: Quick Steps

You have seen the types of 2-factor authentication methods to choose from with their pros and cons, so how do you start the implementation process? Here is a list of what to do. 

  1. Decide on the system/data you want to protect. 
  2. Educate your employees on data breaches and how to use 2FA. 
  3. Raise awareness of the importance of 2FA to your customers 
  4. Select the right 2FA option from the above. 
  5. Test the 2FA setup to ensure that it’s working properly. 

Conclusion 

Improving your security mechanisms is a smart move to attract new customers and save your business from fraudulent attacks. As you have seen, there are various 2FA methods you can use. You must factor in the merits and demerits of each option before making a final decision. 

BSG is the partner you need to design an effective 2FA system for your business. We also help you with SMS marketing for your Fintech and other businesses. 

Contact us today; we are just a click away.

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