MFA vs 2FA
Multi-factor authentication, or MFA, requires users to identify themselves through multiple verification measures and credentials (factors of authentication) before granting them access to data or payment methods. It’s an additional security layer that protects online accounts and transactions against hacking and data theft.
These factors of authentication are often things a person knows, possesses, or is. Sounds complicated, but most people are accustomed to MFA in their daily lives without realizing it. For example:
Something a user knows, like a PIN or an answer to a secret question
Something a user possesses, like a verification code delivered via SMS text message or physical tokens like USB keys
Something a user is, which may include fingerprints and facial recognition
Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a common type of MFA that requires two of these factors to verify the user’s identity. Multi-factor authentication involves at least two of these factors or all three.
The Benefits of MFA/2FA
More and consumers are turning to their mobile devices to purchase goods and services. By 2021, mobile eCommerce could make up almost three quarters (72.9%) of ecommerce sales, totaling $3.5 trillion. This growth makes security precautions an even bigger concern to consumers and businesses alike. If your company does a significant amount of business online or through mobile channels, ensuring consumer safety and trust is paramount.
According to research by Microsoft, 99.9% of cyberattacks can be blocked by using multi-factor authentication.
1. Enhanced Security
Probably the most important benefit of MFA and 2FA is that is provides an additional layer of security. Even if a hacker obtains the password/login credentials of a user, they still cannot access the data without a second factor of authentication. This makes it hard for (cyber)criminals to hack into sensitive information and protects the data from unauthorized access.
2. Reduce Risk of Fraud & Data Breaches
Data breaches have serious consequences for businesses: reputation damage, legal liabilities and even financial losses. But luckily, the days of being able to crack a simple password and gain access to privileged information are over. As stated above, the enhanced security makes the life of a hacker much harder. Not only to protect individual user data, but also lowering the risk of a (large) data breach significantly.
3. Achieve Compliance
Some industries require specific compliance measures, such as GDPR and HIPAA. Health, finance, and government entities demand that businesses follow strict guidelines that protect consumers’ rights and mitigate risk. Make sure you consider your business' unique needs when determining your security requirements.
4. Increase Customer Trust
Customers like knowing their data is secure. Even though additional verification steps can seem annoying and unnecessary at times, customers trust and appreciate businesses who take precautions to protect them seriously.
5. Combat Password Fatigue
According to NordPass, the average user has between 70 and 80 passwords. With so many passwords to remember, many consumers resort to using the same password on multiple accounts or creating simple, easy-to-steal passwords. Both methods lead to easy password hacking.
Adding MFA safeguards against password fatigue adds an extra security buffer, ensuring that cybercriminals cannot hack even simple or repeated passwords. Additionally, 2FA can also help to reduce the number of password reset requests, which can save time and resources for businesses.
6. Simplify the Login Process
The invention of single sign-on (SSO) logins has made multi-factor authentication much easier. SSO enables users to log in to multiple applications and websites with one set of credentials, often via a one-time password (OTP). An OTP is a time-sensitive, unique and random code (letters, numbers, or characters) sent to a user for a single login attempt. It can be sent via a variety of different channel, including SMS, Voice, conversational messaging channels and even push messages.
7. Reduce Operating Costs
MFA/2FA helps reduce the occurrence of fraud, and thus frees time for the help desk to focus on more complex customer service issues. But that's not all! Compared to other security measures (biometric authentication or physical security tokens) 2FA is relatively low-cost and easy to implement. This makes it a practical and cost-effective option for businesses of all sizes, including small and medium-sized enterprises.
8. Increase Flexibility
There are many different types of 2FA solutions available, on a variety of different messaging channels. This means that you can choose the option that best suits your customer's needs, your security requirements, your budget, and your IT infrastructure.
Set Up Multi-Factor Authentication Today
Are you ready to get started with multi-factor authentication? CM.com’s Two-Factor Authentication solution authenticates new users, secures account logins, and safeguards mobile transactions with one click. Build consumer trust and increases your conversion rates across multiple channels!
Schedule a demo today to learn more about our Two-Factor Authentication solution or contact one of our experts to discuss your business needs.