Thales Blog

Two-Factor Authentication; Only One Piece Of The Puzzle To Protecting Your Data

September 18, 2012

In response to a number of recent events in which authentication credentials were compromised, we have seen Dropbox and other cloud services providers begin to implement two-factor authentication to add an additional layer of data protection. In the case of Dropbox, this is an optional service that would allow clients to add additional authentication to their applications. While two-factor authentication is a valuable part of any information security architecture, it represents only a single component of a larger defense in depth strategy. In the case of enterprises, two factor authentication alone is not sufficient to protect sensitive data. Two-factor authentication is used to provide more robust application authentication but it does NOT protect the underlying data that is of value to thieves. Two factor authentication (2FA), without encryption, can be likened to a bank that installs more robust locks on their external doors but opts to keep all of their clients’ money in piles on the floor as opposed to locked safely in a vault. While I firmly believe that 2FA is a solid method for increasing the security. However it is used most effectively when integrated with a robust data encryption solution, such as our Vormetric Data Security Manager, the policy center for Vormetric Data Security, which supports 2FA.