Two-Factor Authentication: What Is It, and How Does It Work?
by Sara Nguyen
Adding an extra step to protect your healthcare data may seem tedious, but it could make a difference in protecting your information from hackers.
Two-factor authentication is one way you can validate a person’s identity and ensure they are authorized to access your data.
What is two-factor authentication?
Two-factor authentication (2FA), also known as multi-factor authentication, adds an extra layer of security to an online account. The process means that a user needs to provide two different authentication factors to get access to data, such as emails.
2FA is highly valuable because it makes a person prove who they are in addition to providing a password.
2FA has become increasingly preferred as passwords are sometimes vulnerable to breaches.
How does it work?
2FA validates a person’s identity using two different methods before they gain access to an account. Once a person has successfully validated their username and password, 2FA will kick in and ask for another authentication factor.
The second factor is usually from one of three different categories:
Knowledge factor: This factor has to be something that a person knows. Examples include a personal identification number (PIN), answering security questions, or a specific keystroke pattern.
Possession factor: The user needs to have an object like an ID card or cell phone for authentication. Mobile-based authentication sends a one-time dynamic code to the user, which they input into the account for verification.
Inherence factor: Fingerprints, iris scans, or voice recognition are typical examples of the inherence factor. This is an advanced biometric 2FA.
If a password gets stolen, 2FA can be what prevents a hacker from accessing your valuable information. It’s unlikely that they will have access to the second authentication factor, thereby providing a level of protection from data breaches.
Will two-factor authentication protect you from phishing attacks?
Hackers are getting savvier all the time. Even though 2FA provides an extra level of security, your healthcare company can still be vulnerable to phishing attacks.
It’s essential to train your employees on Internet security. One valuable lesson is that phishing websites can obtain TLS or SSL certificates, so even an HTTPS-enabled site doesn’t mean that your information is secure.
How Paubox can help
Every plan level of Paubox Email Suite comes with two-factor authentication. Besides asking for a username and password, you can enable possession factor authentication for more security. Our authentication system sends a number code to your phone which you use to log in.
In addition, Paubox Email Suite Plus and Premium provide an inbound security system that will leave your data heavily protected. Our technology is up-to-date on the latest scams, viruses, and phishing attacks. We provide innovative and advanced security measures to protect your healthcare data, including our ExecProtect software that prevents display name spoofing.
When it comes to HIPAA compliant emails, you can never be too safe.