Single-factor authentication is a method of signing in that matches one factor, usually a password, to a username to gain access to a website or network. Password and username combinations have been used for decades, and they remain the most common verification tool today.

Despite its commonality, you should not use single-factor authentication to secure critical data. Learn more about this verification method and how to better protect your business.

Is Single-Factor Authentication Safe?

Single-factor authentication is not a safe verification option due to the single password credential needed to prove identity. Single passwords are often:

  • Weak: Hackers can easily guess or crack passwords that use words found in the dictionary, personal information, or simple patterns. Hackers may discover your personal information or use bots to generate the right combination of numbers and letters.
  • Common: Single-factor authentication can be dangerous when you use the same password for multiple websites. If a hacker can crack it on one account, they can also gain access to many different accounts.
  • Vulnerable: Hackers use several tactics to steal passwords, including keylogging, phishing, and social engineering. With single-factor authentication, your account is instantly compromised once your password has been stolen.

When hackers figure out a single password, they can access even more sensitive information. Single-factor authentication is especially dangerous for businesses supporting critical infrastructure, such as national security, economic stability, and public health.

Alternatives to Single-Factor Authentication

Passwords are still valuable security tools, especially when created to be strong and unique. To ensure thorough cybersecurity for your company, you should use passwords with various other credentials to form a sign-in method called multifactor authentication.

Multifactor authentication uses several factors, such as:

  • Something you know: Examples of these factors include strong passwords or phrases.
  • Something you have: A personal mobile device, like a smartphone, or a secure Bluetooth token are ideal options for this factor.
  • Something you are: Biometrics such as face or voice recognition, retinal scans, movement patterns, or hand scans can be powerful factors.

Combining these factors is one of the best ways to ensure secure and accurate verification. Two-factor authentication is a common sign-in method for many websites and networks that requires users to have a password and a personal device that can confirm identity through SMS or a specific app.

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Improve Your Cybersecurity With Agio

Looking for more guidance on improving your company’s cybersecurity? Agio has you covered. Learn more about our cybersecurity capabilities to see how we can help protect your data.