We used to drive without wearing seat belts, but the great majority of us have come to realize that being required to wear seat belts is for our own benefit. In fact, while some of us (usually from one of the older generations) might still try to “run down to the store” without putting a seat belt on, we often have someone younger there to remind us to put that seat belt on.
Using Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) to log in to our Access Accounts is similar to wearing seat belts. At first, we resist—it’s another thing that we have to do. Then, we begin to realize that it’s for our own good. Finally, it becomes second nature for the great majority of us, and the younger generation accepts it without question.
2FA is not simply “something else they’re making us do.” It’s for our own good.
Risks of Not Using 2FA
Cyberattacks have affected major universities, major retailers, and major banks, and while 2FA does not guarantee the safety of Access Account information any more than a seat belt guarantees that a serious car accident will not occur, 2FA provides a vital extra layer of security.
Thinking about what is being protected by a simple user ID and password combination—critical personal and work information—a second layer of protection makes as much sense as clicking that seat belt on before heading down the highway at 65 mph.
2FA Limits Inconvenience
2FA has been set up in a way that limits the inconvenience of using two methods of authentication (user ID/password combination and confirmation of a device in the user’s possession).
Many of us have our smartphones within reach at all times, and smartphone users will appreciate the ease and convenience of using a smartphone as a second-factor device. Through the Duo Mobile app, the second-factor validation is a simple tap to accept a push notification. A smartphone is also the most secure option and provides the greatest number of ways to authenticate (cellular and Internet coverage is not even required). The app also works with tablets.
You do not, however, need to have a smartphone or tablet to use the service. More traditional cell phones (voice only or voice/text only) work perfectly well with 2FA, as do stationary landline phones. If, for some reason, a phone will simply not work for a particular individual, then there is even the option to purchase and enroll a hardware token (a Duo token, not an existing legacy token, such as a Vasco token).
The New Normal
With 2FA, there is something that will work for everyone as we adjust to what is likely to become the new normal—as normal, in fact, as wearing a seat belt.