Digital security: two factor authentication

Have you ever heard of two-factor authentication? At a time when cyber-attacks continue to increase, passwords no longer serve as the only security measure to prevent unwanted access. And users are providing more and more sensitive information over the Internet. Therefore, two-factor authentication is a good option to improve the security of your data.

In this article we explain you how it works, its importance, main advantages and how to use it with Viafirma

What is two-factor authentication?

A cyber-attack can severely damage a company, jeopardise sensitive stored information, cause its customers to lose confidence in it and damage its image, hence the importance of having appropriate protection against such illegal acts.

Over the years, the use of passwords has become insufficient to protect our data. No matter how complex our password system is, all it takes is a phishing email to crack it. That’s where 2FA, or two-factor authentication, comes in, adding a second method of identity verification to secure your accounts. First, what you know, your password, and then something unique you have, such as your phone or fingerprint. By combining your password with one of these factors, attackers cannot access your account even if they have your password. The most common 2FA systems use a unique code at each login attempt. This code is linked to your account and is generated by a token that is sent to you by text message to your smartphone or by post.

Main advantages

2fa systems offer a multitude of benefits, among which we highlight:

  • Increased security: By requiring a second form of identification, it decreases the likelihood that an attacker can impersonate a user and gain access to computers, accounts or other resources. Even if a fraudster gains access to a password, he will not have the second element needed to authenticate himself.
  • Increases productivity and flexibility: Improved mobility is very much at the forefront of today’s business. Two-factor authentication allows users to securely access corporate applications, data or documents from virtually any device, anywhere.
  • Reduce fraud and create secure online connections: Fraud in all its forms has a direct impact on the bottom line. It can even result in a loss of trust, credibility and brand value and destroy a customer relationship altogether. Some 29% of fraud victims avoid certain merchants after being victimised, even if the merchant is not responsible for the data breach. Two-factor authentication provides an additional layer of protection that secures the site, the transaction and the customer. In addition, by creating a secure brand experience, businesses increase the likelihood of creating ongoing interactions with customers.

Why is robust security necessary?

Strong authentication consists of using at least two identifiers to be able to perform any operation, be it banking, commercial, etc. These identifiers can be biometric in nature, or for example, something that only you know.

In a survey conducted by First Data, a company specialising in commerce-related technology, 26% of respondents stated that their personal information had been compromised in the last month and 34% had been compromised in the last year.

As explained above, using only one password to log in does not ensure full protection against security breaches. Even if more secure and complex passwords are used (with symbols, numbers, etc.), the survey conducted by TeleSign shows that 73% of accounts are protected with a duplicate password and 54% of people use five or fewer passwords throughout their online lives.

According to another Verizon study, 81% of attacks take advantage of insecure or stolen passwords, being the main tactic used. It is possible to use a password manager, which allows all passwords to be remembered and each one to be unique, preventing a possible security problem from affecting the rest. However, the best solution for even greater protection is two-factor authentication.

Viafirma Fortress: the flexible and secure solution that uses the double authentication factor

The protection of sensitive user information is of vital importance, especially when storing digital certificates or credit cards.

Viafirma Fortress was designed for the secure management and protection of corporate certificates, a solution that improves business mobility. It works with the centralised signature or in the cloud, an authentication solution that allows signing anywhere or on any device. This means that the digital certificate is hosted in a secure server, and it can be accessed through previous user authentication by establishing as many factors as the tool is configured.

The simple fact of working in the cloud increases the level of security, because if the certificate is stored on a device, it is easier for someone with access to that device to sign for us, especially if the passwords themselves are stored on it.

This authentication process is performed in a robust manner with at least two layers of security (two-factor authentication), which are:

  • Something the user knows (password)
  • Something the user has (key card, sms code, OTP code)
  • Something that the user does or is (signature, voice, fingerprint, other biometric factors).

In short, two-factor authentication has practically become a mandatory standard for any company that offers a digital product or service and wants to guarantee the security of its users’ data. The importance of cybersecurity is beyond doubt, given the number of breaches and violations that occur every day on the internet and the sensitivity of the data that is stored in an insecure manner.


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