The Vulnerabilities of Cybersecurity: What You Need to Know About Two-Factor Authentication

Published on March 25, 2019

In a world where hackers and criminals are working harder than the technology meant to secure you, users are relying on niche cybersecurity specialists to keep their personal data safe.

Methods to secure your personal data online have advanced at a pretty glacial pace considering the speed of the evolution of the internet.

From AOL Passwords to Security Questions

We all went from having our birthdays as our AOL account passwords to slowly realizing that wasn’t the brightest idea. We then advanced to adding capitalizations, numbers and special characters, before figuring out that what we really need are additional layers of security; enter, the dreaded security question.

Two-Factor Authentication

One of the latest crazes in cybersecurity is two-factor authentication (2FA). So what exactly is 2FA?

Simply put, the point of 2FA is to verify to some server or machine that you are who you say you are by adding an additional layer to the login process of your various accounts.

Even after logging into your account with your password, a second password of sorts is sent to you, normally in the form of a one-time code.

Two-factor authentication is the sum of a simple equation:

Something you know (your password) +
Something you have (a one-time code) or Something you are (biometrics)
= authenticated

Anytime you swipe your ATM card and have to enter your pin to validate the chip, that’s a form of 2FA. Various apps have various ways of outputting your one-time code – this can be via text message, email, or in some cases you may even receive a phone call with your code.

So, What’s the Big Deal?

Unfortunately, the current process of emitting one-time codes isn’t entirely hack-proof. What happens if someone is listening in on your connection? Hackers have become incredibly sophisticated with man-in-the-middle attacks.

What happens when you try to log into your accounts on a public Wi-Fi connection and you’re in the presence of some “phishy” individuals? Hackers are capable of screen-scraping your phone and using your one-time code to access your account before you do.

Current software-based multifactor authentication solutions are vulnerable to attacks, and theft of login credentials continues to be a challenge.

The Age of ‘Do What Google Says’

So, are we all doomed? Not quite!

One of the ways that digitally-conscious individuals and early adopters are securing themselves is through hardware-based cybersecurity. Hackers may be able to hack your digital credentials but they cannot crack the hardware (phone) in your physical possession without it in hand.

Cybersecurity innovators have recognized hardware-based methods to be the only fail-proof way to keep you safe. The problem? We’re not all listening.

We live in the age of “do as Google says”, chasing trendy brands.

Much like a disease that requires research, time, effort and concentration to be treated, cybersecurity is no different. After all, we’ve named computer corruption “viruses” for a reason. You go to a specialist to take care of illnesses requiring specialized knowledge, so why not apply the same frame of thought to your cybersecurity needs?

Using an authenticator by trendy brands that don’t take into consideration the various ways that hackers can crack you is like slapping a Band-Aid on a headache!

What Are My Options?

Thankfully, cybersecurity companies like Rivetz have made it their mission to simplify hardware-focused security technology that is serving the average user, the enterprise environment, as well as the needs of developers. Rivetz has recently launched their own 2FA called the Rivetz Authenticator, which uses their patented technology to deliver the fool-proof hardware-based security solutions we’ve discussed. It’s just simple and safe 2FA.

Finding An App That Works For You

For Android users who may have a more difficult time finding options, the Google PlayStore offers Rivetz Authenticator, a two-part app that uses the hardware-based Trusted Execution Environment (TEE). More than 1 billion mobile devices support this industry standard.

The first app is the Rivetz Authenticator itself and the second app is an adapter of sorts, providing the Authenticator access to the hardware vault inside your device, ensuring that all authentication codes are hardware-generated and malware-resistant.

Best of all, it’s usable anywhere popular authenticators can be used and today it’s absolutely FREE.

Find out if your device is compatible with Rivetz Authenticator by clicking here.

Lexi Sprague is a Product Manager at Rivetz Corp. She focuses on merging user experience, customer support, and cutting-edge features to deliver modern products to the market.

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