Here’s Everything You Should Know About Two Factor Authentication

One of the notable aspects of virtualization is the presence of heterogeneous networks with diversified devices, platforms, and OSes. Desktops and laptops have been accompanied by and sometimes replaced with tablets and smartphones. In addition, a variety of devices such as Chromebooks and wearables came into the network. The Internet of Things has also brought non-IT systems such as home appliances, health care systems, and sensors into the network. For such heterogeneous networks, businesses have to balance performance and features with security. Two factor authentication ensures that only authorized users have access to corporate resources.

An Overview of Two Factor Authentication

Two Factor AuthenticationTwo-factor authentication, or 2FA, is a security technology that adds a second layer of security while authenticating any device into the network. Patented in 1984, 2FA requires the user to use different components to get access to a network. Components include something you may know such as usernames and passwords, something you have such as credit/debit cards and smartphones to approve authentication requests, and something that you are such as biometrics.

Two-factor authentication protects your networks from phishing attacks and stolen credentials as attackers cannot easily gain access to corporate networks. According to the 2013 Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report, 76 percent of breaches are a result of stolen credentials. The recent increase in cyber attacks on high profile businesses makes it imperative for companies to implement a two-factor authentication system. Companies such as Radius, Deepnet, and Safenet are the leading providers of this security technology.

Either a hard or soft token is used to handle two-factor authentication. A common example is to send a password to the email address of a person who is trying to sign up to a new site or a service. Even when a hacker knows your password, he should have access to the email too. Another example is a rotating LED display on a key fob.

Two-factor authentication is especially important for remote networks. Today, 2FA has become a critical requirement for top VDI solutions. In addition to performance and features, the ability to redirect encrypted USB drives from the server to the client and vice versa and provide a second layer of security is a key criterion for VDI solutions.

Top VDI solutions need to provide the convenience of remote access while securing networks and devices. Virtualization leaders such as Citrix, Parallels, and VMware provide VDI solutions that are integrated with two-factor authentication. With such a system in place, virtual desktops, thin clients, and the HTML5 gateway are secured.

The US government is very keen on the implementation of 2FA. Business networks that do not have two-factor authentication are considered as not conforming to regulations such as HIPAA or FIFPS. Whether you’re an SMB or a large enterprise, you cannot get big contracts without two-factor authentication technology.

Businesses that collect information from remote users over the Internet have to be extra cautious. For instance, when companies recruit people, they ask for personal information such as Social Security number, address, and identification card information. Businesses that conduct financial transactions collect the payment card details of the customer. When this information falls into the hands of hackers, it can be devastating to the end users as well as the companies. This is where two-factor authentication comes to the rescue.

Whether you are an SMB or a large enterprise, your VDI networks should have two-factor authentication. Failing to provide this level of security could have a detrimental effect on your  business.


Two-Factor Authentication: Passwords Aren’t Enough: 76% of Breaches Exploit Stolen Credentials | Duo Security

Two Factor Authentication: VDI Working with Two-Factor Authentication | Byron Watters

Two Factor Authentication: Two-Factor Authentication | Wikipedia

Two Factor Authentication: Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) Definition | TechTarget

Two Factor Authentication: Two-Factor Authentication: What You Need to Know (FAQ) | CNET

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