Cyberattacks and data breaches are more prevalent than ever, and there’s no sign of this trend slowing down. Cybersecurity Ventures predicated that cybercrimes will cost $6 trillion globally by 2021. Two-factor authentication is one way organizations can protect themselves from extreme financial damage.

What is Single-Factor Authentication?

The majority of consumer-level applications and services rely on single-factor authentication to verify the user’s identity. Typically, users create a unique password attached to their accounts that only they know. This type of authentication is usually sufficient for app accounts that don’t hold much valuable information.

This type of account protection is fairly easy for a skilled hacker to penetrate. Infosec Institute reported that hackers can use phishing schemes to get users to unwittingly supply personal information. Likewise, Trojan viruses make it easy for hackers to break simple passwords. According to Infosec Institute, a five-character password has 10 billion possible combinations but only takes about 10 seconds to crack. However, just adding three more characters increases time-to-break to 115 days. A password that’s 10 characters long would take 3,000 years to crack, using the same method.


What is Two-Factor Authentication?

When hackers have more resources available to them, it becomes easier for them to breach an organization. Two-factor authentication makes things more difficult for them by adding a physical component to the equation.

For example, if an employee wants to log into her secure account, she would initiate the log-in process, then receive a unique, one-time code on her personal smartphone via SMS. The code authenticates her identity, so she can proceed to the password check.

Another factor would be biometrics. Many of today’s smartphones feature fingerprint scanners to make unlocking the device easy and quick, without reducing the level of security. Many apps, like mobile banking solutions, will give users the ability to link their fingerprint to their account.

Why Should Organizations Invest in Two-Factor Authentication?

The simple truth is that organizations are more likely to experience a data breach than not. According to an IBM and Ponemon survey, 89 percent of organizations suffer data breaches, costing businesses $141 billion globally.

This is an especially important consideration for small businesses. According to the U.S. National Cyber Security Alliance, 60 percent of small businesses cannot sustain themselves after a data breach. That means that even if just one employee mismanages their passwords, it could open the business up to an unsustainable level of risk.

Implementing two-factor authentication at your organization is easy. Contact the experts at to learn more.