What are multi factor authentication and 2 factor authentication?

Multi factor authentication and 2 factor authentication are often used interchangeably. They are both advanced methods of verifying who you say you are. The difference is that 2FA specifically requires two authentication factors while MFA can be more than two. So all 2FAs are MFAs but not all MFAs are 2FAs.

Two-factor authentication is usually your email/password and one other factor such as previously answered security questions . This significantly lessens the possibility that your information was stolen but does not eliminate it — especially with cyber criminals scraping personal data off social media and other platforms.

MFA introduces another factor, and something that is not purely information based. This may include the use of biometrics (fingerprints, facial recognition, etc.) or an authenticator app on your phone. MFA makes your credentials almost bulletproof and greatly increases your cyber security.

So in the multi factor authentication and 2 factor authentication battle, MFA wins. But as a user, you may not control the options you have on every platform. What is important is to make use of 2FA or MFA whenever they are available. As a business owner, you should implement MFA on your network and require vendors to do the same.


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