Two-factor authentication (2FA), also known as multi-factor authentication (MFA), protects user accounts by factoring in something a user has (such as a time-based, one-time password, or TOTP) in addition to what they know (their credentials). While 2FA is considered to be a standard in identity security practices today, it can be a headache for some organizations.
Organizations know it’s more secure than only requiring a username and password, but 2FA reduces efficiency and can require the admin to dedicate large portions of time to manual integration and management. When admins spend a lot of their time integrating and managing a tool that slows down the user authentication process to some degree, it can potentially translate into a loss of productivity. As a result, some may question the return on investment (ROI) of 2FA.
The Return on Investment
It’s true that 2FA doesn’t generate any revenue directly, but the value of the damage it prevents far exceeds what it costs to implement and maintain. However, there are additional factors to keep in mind when evaluating your company’s need for 2FA, and we discuss those more below.
Data Breach Costs
The average cost of a data breach worldwide is between $1.25 million and $8.19 million. Combine that with the damage it can do to your organization’s reputation, the actual costs far exceed that. The financial hit can take years to recover from. For example, Target took a 54.6% nosedive in its brand perception after their data breach in 2013. Even five years later, their brand perception was lower than before the data breach.
Target’s situation is one of the more extreme examples of the toll a data breach can take on a company, but Target stayed afloat thanks to its deep corporate pockets. Small businesses are much less fortunate –– 60% of small businesses that experience a data breach fail within six months. Because of this, small businesses should take as many precautions to prevent data breaches as they can. Using 2FA can easily secure user identities by presenting another barrier to entry that’s not as easily bypassed through (Read more…)