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App Security Insights

Mobile Application Security: Two-Step Verification Is On The Rise

Mar 9, 2017 8:04:36 AM / by Sung Cho

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So you’ve taken your mobile application from idea to execution. It’s been a long road of sleepless nights, countless hours of attention to detail and much strife just to make your passion project a reality, but it’s finally live. Now imagine that all of your effort and hard work was for nothing, that your brainchild has been attacked and violated by malicious users looking to exploit your code for their own.

If you could, we know you’d be willing to do anything to prevent that. In fact, chances are you’ve already put a number of measures in place to reinforce your applications security. Well, if you have yet to add two-step verification to the list, you may very well be missing out on one of the easiest and most effective ways to keep your app safe.

Two-Step Verification

Alternatively known as two-factor authentication, two-step verification essentially boils down to a process in which a second form of identification is required to log into a given account. Think of it as the online incarnation of needing two kinds of documentation to prove your identity.

In addition to the existing password, you need to input a separate code before access is granted. This provides an extra layer of protection against hackers, one that makes it dramatically more difficult for them to break into your programming. This is especially useful when hackers attempt to log in using a device that is unrecognizable to the security system itself.

In keeping with the effective complexity of two-step verification, you typically have two methods by which you can set this process up and validate your identity before gaining access from a new device. Which one works best for you will likely depend on the circumstances of your use and your own personal preference. In the interest of providing you with a comprehensive look at your options, let’s delve into them both in a bit more detail.

  • Text messages: The first way is for the system to send you a unique code via text message upon each login attempt. Granted, this method requires that you have your phone on hand, but seeing as we now live in a smartphone and signal-heavy time, it’s more likely than ever that you’ll have your phone within reach and be in an area with coverage. If you have a tendency to travel a lot, this option may be more trouble than simply opting for the second method.
  • Code generation: In some cases, using a code-generating app to create time-sensitive codes for login access may be a better way to go. Apps like Google Authenticator and Authy are easily accessible and can create spontaneous codes for a wide variety of systems. Once you link your own site with these code generators, you can just use this process as your single step to gaining access without having to worry about text messages and phone service.

Verify or Risk It

With each passing year, it seems that hackers are getting more sophisticated with how they launch attacks, and the rise of mobile technology has only made matters worse. So much sensitive data is being transferred all the time, and it doesn’t take much effort at all for hackers to exploit any lingering weaknesses in your applications security.

Right now, two-step verification is steadily growing in popularity, but before long, it will prove to be just as commonplace as firewalls and password protection. The sooner you embrace this higher level of protection, the better off your business will be in the long run. Don’t wait for hackers to step up their game; rather, remain ahead of them and ensure that your app and its users remain safely under guard.

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Topics: Mobile App Security, Mobile Security

Sung Cho

Written by Sung Cho

VP, Growth & Strategy