Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a type of account verification process that requires a second factor to prove your login credentials, beyond just a username and password. This second factor is designed to be something a cybercriminal can’t easily replicate, like a personal security question or a code sent to a secured device only you have access to.

What is two-factor authentication?

Two-factor authentication is based on the principle of requiring two different types of evidence to verify your identity when you log in to an online account. These types of evidence are usually classified into three categories:

  • Something you know, such as a password or a PIN.
  • Something you have, such as a smartphone or a hardware token.
  • Something you are, such as a fingerprint or a face scan.

The most common form of 2FA is using a password (something you know) and a code (something you have) that is sent to your phone via SMS or generated by an app. However, there are other methods of 2FA, such as using email, voice call, push notification, QR code, or physical keys.

Why is two-factor authentication recommended for the cloud?

The cloud refers to the delivery of computing services over the internet, such as storage, databases, networking, analytics, and applications. The cloud offers many benefits, such as scalability, flexibility, cost-efficiency, and innovation. However, the cloud also poses some security risks, such as data breaches, account hijacking, denial-of-service attacks, and malicious insiders.

To protect your cloud accounts from unauthorized access, it is not enough to rely on passwords alone. Passwords can be easily guessed, stolen, or compromised by phishing, malware, or brute-force attacks. If an attacker gains access to your cloud account, they can access your sensitive data, tamper with your settings, launch malicious activities, or lock you out of your account.

By enabling 2FA for your cloud accounts, you can add an extra layer of security that makes it harder for attackers to break in. Even if they manage to obtain your password, they still need to provide the second factor that only you possess or control. This way, you can reduce the risk of losing your data or compromising your reputation.

Does PIP offer 2FA?

We sure do and recommend it for every Cloud based application and/or services. Typically we will deploy a method that allows you to simply agree to the login with your mobile phone. This provides a seamless and extremely easy way to add that extra security layer to your business without complicating day to day logins. PIP also recommends using strong, unique random password on all accounts that are never given out and that are changed regularly.

For more sensitive data, differing methods and even three factor authentication may be required. For more information and solutions for PIPs Authentication systems, please contact your account representative.