The Future of Second Factor Authentication (2FA)

Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a security mechanism used to ensure that only authorized persons can access an account or system, authorize a transaction or obtain sensitive information for the user, such as password recovery. The 2FA is complementary to another main security mechanism such as password and username and can be done through different channels such as SMS, WhatsApp, email, and even phone calls, however, the most used are those made with the cell phone because it is the closest thing you have as a "digital persona", let's say that it is more personal a phone number than an email. The importance of 2FA lies in adding a layer of security to accounts and systems, meaning that even if someone gets your password, they can't access your account without having access to the device being used for authentication. This helps protect both users and companies from cyber-attacks and information theft.

2FA is a security standard recommended by cybersecurity experts in all kinds of industries, from banking, finance, healthcare, technology applications, etc. Wherever you have an "account" you should have 2FA to protect it. 2FA, like all other OTP (one-time-password) features, has its advantages and disadvantages depending on how it is used, the channels where it is implemented and the reason for its use. At WhatsAuth we set ourselves the challenge of solving these disadvantages and creating a new way of doing 2FA without compromising security or increasing costs. The result we arrived at, in fact, allowed us to reduce costs significantly (up to 74%), increase security and drastically improve the customer experience. Here are some of the drawbacks of traditional 2FA and how we were able to solve them:

1. Complexity and friction: using second-factor authentication can be more complicated for users than password-only authentication, requiring multiple steps to complete, different applications, devices, wait times, requesting external services that cannot be controlled, dependence on a mobile network or the Internet, all leading to a poor user experience, high friction and low conversion of people completing the process. At WhatsAuth we reduce the process to two clicks. Whether by WhatsApp or SMS, in less than 7 seconds you have an authenticated user with the same security standard and protocols as traditional 2FA.

2. Cost: Implementing second factor authentication requires a significant additional investment. SMS and call services are expensive per validation, which makes scalability difficult. At WhatsAuth our new 2FA flow allows us to shorten the cost per transaction by up to 74% and we have even better costs per transaction for large volumes (100,000+ transactions), making it easy to scale.

3 Limitations: Second factor authentication may not be feasible in certain situations, such as in locations where there is no internet or mobile network access. In WhatsAuth we have 2FA alternatives for WhatsApp and SMS, so the user can choose the one that suits them best depending on the situation, and regardless of which one they use, the same standard of quality is guaranteed in the process.

In conclusion, 2FA is here to stay, and for a long time it has been a "necessary evil", but with WhatsAuth you can finally offer your users a 2FA worthy of the modern world, lowering costs in your company, increasing security and eliminating the frustration to which traditional 2FA has accustomed us.

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