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Two-Factor Authentication Provides Increased Security

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Two-Factor Authentication

Two-Factor Authentication



Two-Factor Authentication (2FA), also known as Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), is gaining quite a reputation. Learn how you can become more secure with an integrated solution such as PortalGuard.

Two-Factor Authentication:

Two-Factor Authentication (2FA), also known as Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), is gaining quite a reputation. Is this a bad or good thing?  That depends on which side of the security fence you are standing on. 2FA’s place on the security fence leans heftily toward the security side and has a very good reputation. Especially with IT admins who oversee keeping an institution’s protected property safe from bad doers. The end users don’t see it the same as it slows the login process down and can indeed stop it cold in its tracks. For instance, an OTP (One Time Password) is needed from your cell phone, but the battery has died. You will then have to ask the IT Help Desk for assistance. This will, in fact, slow down your day’s productivity. I should probably clarify the definition of Two-Factor Authentication before I go too far.

What is Two-Factor Authentication:

Two-Factor Authentication provides increased password security by requiring an end user to provide something they know and something they physically have before being considered authenticated.  A very common example of a 2FA login is to first provide your memorized password. If that is correct, an OTP is sent to your phone and prompted after accepting the password. You won’t be considered authenticated until you demonstrate that you “know” your password and “have” a registered phone by supplying the delivered OTP.


Back to the proverbial security fence…there is always that fine line between being secure and being usable.  If something is too secure, it’s inevitably going to be cumbersome or time-consuming to use. Anything that is easy to use, won’t work well at keeping the bad guys out.  So, is there a way to make 2FA more usable?  Who wants to have to enter a password and an additional OTP every time they login?  I sure don’t.

How PortalGuard Can Help:

PistolStar, Inc. has just the answer for this balancing act. PortalGuard, our flagship product has long provided tremendous value by allowing Single Sign-On, but only after providing a successful 2FA login.  That’s great, but that pesky OTP is always needed during the initial login. That can wear on a person day after day.

PortalGuard has stepped its game up and is now providing a “remember my 2FA” feature for a customizable length of time. Imagine the glory of securing a website with 2FA and then providing SSO, but not needing to provide the second factor at every login. Company policy determines if the second factor should be needed once a day, every thirty days or longer. Sounds like we could be confidently walking right across that fence with no trepidation of falling on either side. A sound balance of security and usability!


To learn more about how PortalGuard can provide a secure login for your organization schedule a demo today!




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Larry Conroy

Author: Larry Conroy

Larry is a Technical Support/Developer here at PistolStar. With a Master’s Degree in Computer Science, he has worked for Raytheon, and then moved on to other corporations, such as Kronos, Axent, and Applied Microsystems. Over the last ten years Larry has specialized in improving and growing the support process, previously and within PistolStar Inc.

One Comment

  1. In two-factor authentication, addition to a usual password, users need to provide a physical form of proof to authenticate themselves. Even if the credentials are right, the physical factor making it difficult for hackers to access a resource. The system is highly secured and safe.

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