Two-factor authentication (2FA) is more than just complex passwords and usernames, it can benefit businesses and their clients in a multitude of ways by safeguarding sensitive information.
We have explored 2FA and multifactor authentication in great detail, but have yet to explain the benefits 2FA can bring to your business, employees and customers. Let's take a look at the benefits 2FA can bring you.
For your business
1. Fraud prevention - multiple layers of authentication require multiple sources of secure information and access (knowledge, possession or inherence).
Fraud prevention, provided by two-factor authentication (2FA), makes it more difficult for fraudsters to get information. A fraudster attempting to access an account protected by 2FA will encounter more barriers and require more information to breach these barriers to commit fraud.
A good example of fraud prevention is when two-factor authentication uses SMS. For the hacker to access your business account, they will require two distinct forms of identification to access your account e.g the password of the account and the user’s phone.
Multiple layers can be added for separate actions as well, such as having a password + SMS 2FA solution for account access and SMS 2FA + inherence (biometrics) for transactions. This way, the fraud risk is mitigated even more.
Learn more about two-factor authentication in our comprehensive guide!
2. Helpdesk/support cost reduction - the single most common support issue today is a forgotten password.
Without a 2FA system in place, recovering a password is only possible via a helpdesk, which the customer could contact upon losing their password. A support helpdesk can be costly and cause the customer delay in their request to get a new password.
The average user calls a help desk 1.25 times per month. In an environment that’s experiencing unexpected downtime or has had recent upgrades, that number can exceed three calls per month.
The industry research group, HDI, estimates at least 35-40 percent of those calls are related to password resets. Every customer password request that goes through a helpdesk will consume 20 minutes of the helpdesk support person's time.
Two-Factor authentication can prevent a customer from contacting your business's helpdesk in the first place. This results in a fast and cost-efficient way of tackling your customer's password problem but more importantly, a safe and secure method for end-users to reset their password.
3. Internal security and mobility - 2FA is great for customer and business use alike. When an employee works from home, they can still have access to internal business systems by using the 2FA tools to identify themselves securely.
The benefits of secure remote working are plentiful. Not only can a workforce become more flexible with working hours but also the data employees handle from remote locations can be secured and safe from breaches. Internal security can equally benefit a business in the same way that user account security does. We have covered an internal security breach that 2FA could have helped avoid.
4. Marketing and communication - SMS is a very effective tool for marketing and the statistics speak for themselves. SMS marketing has super high open and conversion rates.
For an SMS marketing campaign to work, you will need customer mobile numbers to send the marketing messages to. Here is where a barrier arises, as some customers will be hesitant to give their real number to companies in an effort to protect their privacy and security.
If your business uses 2FA, customers are much more likely to trust the security of your business and how you handle their data. Your customers are more likely to be open to receiving marketing messages from your business if they have received 2FA messages before. This creates an excellent opportunity for companies to gain consent for marketing purposes and reach their clients in a quick and reliable manner.
For the clients and customers
1. Security - While 2FA and MFA help companies to prevent fraud, customers and users can benefit from increased security in the same manner. 2FA requires far more resources from the hacker to get into a customer's account.
2FA increases the security of customer accounts, but what if they still get hacked? As a customer, even if we do get hacked or our password gets stolen, we can regain control of our account by the multifactor option and change the password so the account can’t be breached again.
In the case of traditional password theft, we would have to contact the business we have our account with, inform them of the instance of fraud, provide evidence of the fraud and start a long process of account recovery. With 2FA we can regain control of our account within minutes of the hack occurring and resume the use of the product or service.
2. Convenience - alongside easier and quicker account recovery as mentioned previously, it also enables users to log in without having to remember or enter their password manually.
This can be done if account access or transactional confirmations are made prior to an SMS pin or fingerprint scan. It still provides multiple layers of security and is much harder to hack but comes with the convenience of not having to remember the password, which is very helpful nowadays where most people have numerous accounts with different passwords.
3. Access monitoring - 2FA usually comes with multiple device access monitoring and network access limiting. That means you can limit what devices, locations or networks can access your accounts. If they do not match the correct parameters, a 2FA event will be triggered.
This means that you’ll know if someone else is trying to access your account in real-time. This helps prevent account breaches and gives the business an opportunity to counter fraudsters. Also, If an account is hacked, the business can track them while providing the client with the means to keep on top of their security at all times.
Two-factor authentication is a handy tool for any business and its clients. It adds security measures, allows for monitoring and reduces the likelihood of an account being hacked.
If your business lacks a level of security to protect your customers from hacking, consider using 2FA to make your services more secure.