What are Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) and Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)?
2FA is an additional password that acts as an extra layer of security during a standard login process. When 2FA is enabled, each login attempt requires verification by the account owner through a push notification, SMS or email message, biometric token (fingerprint, face scan, etc.), or location verification.
MFA is a method that requires users to provide two or more verification factors to access to their account. Three main types of MFA methods include things you know (password or PIN), things you possess (smartphone verification: push notification or SMS message), and things you are (biometric token).
How do 2FA and MFA work?
Debit cards, for example, require entry of a PIN to complete a transaction. 2FA is very similar! The account login process is only completed by entering an additional code, clicking a push notification, scanning your fingerprint, etc.
Why are 2FA and MFA important?
Passwords alone are weak. One poll found that 78% of Gen Z uses the same password across multiple accounts, increasing their vulnerability. About 23 million accounts still use the password 123456. Weak passwords like these can be hacked in seconds!
2FA and MFA reduce the success rate of cyber-attacks like phishing campaigns, credential exploitation, and account recovery impersonation attacks, because they require additional verification.
According to, Microsoft, close to 99.9% of cyber-attacks could be blocked by opting in to multi-factor authentication.
Many professional industries and organizations have security standards that require careful compliance. Financial and healthcare industries are examples of industries that require 2FA to help enforce password security. Your organization might have their own requirements. If you’re not sure about your organization’s security standards, check with your IT team.
Do you need 2FA or MFA?
The security benefits are reason enough to opt in to 2FA and MFA. 2FA only requires one additional step during the login process. If your account password becomes compromised, you will have peace of mind knowing that they can’t get in without also having your phone or email account.