How to Resolve Increasing Online Accounts Breach Problem?

The increasing security breaches or malicious attacks on the online accounts and sensitive data are one of the major subject of concerns for the authentic end users worldwide. Therefore, it has become an extremely important step for them; end users, to protect their valuable digital assets from such breaches. The main cause of increasing hacking incidents on the online accounts is the use of just username and password in the login procedure by the end users. It is because the hackers or intruders can easily compromise your secret password using advanced cryptographic techniques. This method; password-only verification, of logging the accounts is known as 1FA (One Factor Authentication). So, it’s must for all the authentic end users to use something beyond password, and stay one step ahead of the hackers. One ideal method that easily resolves increasing hacking problem is Two Factor Authentication security method.

A brief about this method

Two Factor Authentication (2FA) is an authentication mechanism that includes an additional factor or layer of security to protect the online accounts and sensitive data of the end users from getting compromised. 2FA security method requires two factors; unique verification code or OTP (One Time Passcode) and secret password, in the login procedure to verify whether the user is authentic or not. The unique verification code is sent to the registered mobile or any other device of the user, and is valid only for a few seconds. 2FA security method is also known as TSV (Two Step Verification).

If any unauthorized user hacks your secret password, then he can easily access your online account and provide a severe damage. But, with the use of two different factors in the login procedure i.e. Two Factor Authentication security method, it becomes a tedious task for the hackers to get into your account even if your secret password gets compromised.

What are the various authentication factors?

The possible authentication factors have been given below:

Something you know (the knowledge factors) – username, secret password, PIN.

Something you have (the possession factors) – credit & debit card, mobile device.

Something you are (the inherence factors) – biometrics like iris, retina, face scan, fingerprint, voice recognition.

Time and Location factors – geographic location.

Two Factor Authentication security method uses any two of the possible four authentication factors, especially ‘something you know’ and ‘something you have’.

We use Two Factor Authentication in our day-to-day life. One of the most common examples of this security method is cash withdrawal through an ATM using your credit or debit card. For withdrawing cash, you need your credit or debit card (something you have) and a 4-digit secret PIN (something you know). Without the availability of both these components, it is impossible to withdraw cash even if you are an authentic user. If someone else steals either your card or 4-digit secret PIN, then also he can’t withdraw cash, as both card and PIN are required to complete the transaction successfully. In this way, Two Factor Authentication method minimizes the online accounts security breaches issue.

How Online Accounts Hacking Can Be Prevented Effectively?

Normally, to log in to an online account, the end user needs the combination of username and password. Here the password acts as a single protection layer to secure the online accounts from malicious activities or external harmful threats. But, what if someone else, or you can say an unauthorized user, manages to know the secret password of an authentic user, then he can easily access the online account. It reflects that using just only password in the login procedure is not enough to keep the hackers away from gaining access to the online accounts of the authentic end users. In fact, it (password) is not as reliable as you think. Therefore, it has become must to use an extra layer of protection along with password-only verification in the login procedure. Two Factor Authentication security method emerges as the best solution that helps to prevent hacking of the online accounts.

A brief about Two Factor Authentication, and how it works

Two Factor Authentication, also referred to as 2FA or Two Step Verification, is a security method of verifying identity of a user. This method adds an additional layer of security in the login procedure to secure the online accounts from security breaches. With 2FA, the users require two factors – secret password and a unique verification code or OTP (One Time Passcode), to log in to their online accounts. The unique verification code is sent to the registered mobile device of the user after entering username and password, and is valid only for a few seconds.

Two Factor Authentication security method makes it harder for the attackers or unauthorized users to gain access to an authentic end user’s mobile device and online account, because knowing the victim’s password only is not enough to pass the authentication check. This security method is used to prevent the hackers from accessing sensitive data, information and online accounts of the end users.

What are authentication factors?

Those factors that determine the way in which a user can be authenticated are known as the authentication factors. These factors include the following:

Something you know (the knowledge factors) – username, email, password, PIN, answer to a secret question.

Something you have (the possession factors) – credit & debit card, mobile device, security token, Identity card.

Something you are (the inherence factors) – biometric characteristics of an individual such as iris, retina, face scan, voice recognition, fingerprint.

Systems with more demanding requirements for security may use location and time as fourth and fifth factors of authentication. For example, the users may be required to authenticate from specific locations, or during specific time windows.

The use of two different factors – password and a unique verification code to complete the login procedure successfully, makes Two Factor Authentication a highly secure method. So, enable it without any delay to prevent the online accounts hacking.