Is Two-factor Authentication Process Really Foolproof ?

Is Two-factor Authentication Process Really Foolproof ?

There are people with high-tech security infrastructure to safeguard their online transactions. They are doing an incredible service for themselves. However, the majority of the people still operate under the severe risk of getting their online transactions hacked by Russian malware. Security is one of the critical factors for both users and app developers. Still we take chances. There are several sites and apps where you need to type in a code sent to you via SMS or email to verify that you are purchasing or changing your account details. Passwords are becoming longer and very complicated with certain sites demanding you to build one with special characters and numerical and users are being asked to add their mobile phone number to accounts as backup.

The latter one happens to be a part of an aspect called two-factor authentication, or 2FA for short, and it is what several tech companies use to secure their users from safety breaches. “The most frequently used 2FA uses an SMS code. While it is a good idea to have a common authentication device, phones have become the default device due to the fact that the majority own them. Password-secured accounts can easily be hacked, and, 2FA, in the best possible scenario, eliminates hackable passwords (“secret” “1234”) from the equation.

A THUMBS UP FOR TWO-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION

After getting attention post a famous hacking of journalist Mat Honan in 2012, 2FA was celebrated as the next weapon to protect users online. Two-factor authentication needs the user to come good on two out of three factors: Something you are aware of (PIN, password), something you possess (smartphone, ATM card, fob), or something that is yours (fingerprint or voice print).

Let’s see how this functions. We all are well-versed with using a password or PIN (something they know), one factor, and now people will get a one-time code via SMS on their mobile phone (another factor), to purchase some stuffs online, replace old password with a new one on a locked account, or transfer money, among several other things. Some people opt for a code-generating fob (second factor) to safely access a bank account or a work server through VPN from home. Based on what you perform online and which device you possess, you might use fingerprints or voiceprints (something you are) to obtain access to an account details or make payment for something with, Apple Pay or Google Wallet through your smartphone (something you have).

In the U.S., Twitter, Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon, Bitcoin, Yahoo!, almost every email service provider, banks, insurance companies, and online services have executed some kind of 2FA. You might be working a bit harder to log in to your accounts, particularly verifying some purchases or when you cannot remember your complex password. This implies that itt has become tougher for a hacker to access your account, because if you are made to toil hard then imagine the burden on their shoulders.

CERTAIN 2FAS ARE BETTER THAN OTHERS

Not every 2FA’s are common. The one-time codes dispatched through SMS are quite common as this is the convenient way for a company to implement. Who wishes to hoard a code-generating fob to purchase something, say, on iTunes? Also, receiving a one-time code that makes its way straight to your mobile phone can be cumbersome at times, and how is a hacker going to intercept an SMS? Actually, it’s not very tough and it is quite common with high-profile cases more often than not.

In fact, it has occurred so frequently that the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) made up its mind in August 2016 to disallow any services that plug into government IT systems from using SMS-based 2FA codes. NIST requires people to utilize services such as Google Authenticator or USB dongles. Devolutions concludes that out of the most popular 2FA services, those dependent on a dongle offer a risk of loss. An online authenticator is an ideal alternative, and Authy seems to be the most attractive of those, which can be accessed on a desktop app as well as on mobile, and easy to merge with your phone’s authentication set ups. Looking at the non-dongle services, Authy spares you the migraine ie. if you lose your phone or buy a new one, it permits you to reinstate it without re-configuring all your accounts. Authy’s rival, Google Authenticator, doesn’t indulge in this habit. Developers have to achieve a parity among safety features, usability and pricing.

WHAT ABOUT BIOMETRICS?

We have been through a lot of discourses regarding the safety of biometrics such as fingerprints, voice prints, ear shape, iris scans, or face recognition software to safeguard your accounts. The admirers of biometrics feel this is apt, especially for high-profile users or those seeking robust security cover for the stuff they carry out online. However, the huge cause of concern is that the process involving fingerprints, or some other biometric, if compromised, it is impossible to alter the fingerprints and start again. This can be a good idea for a science fiction drama, but in reality a bit unfounded.

If these biometrics can be breached to access someone else’s iPhone or Motorola or not is a good topic but for another day. Apple and Google contain a Secure Enclave feature in their newer iPhone and Android OSs that enhances security while using fingerprint-oriented access, but if it is an “ultimate lock down.” or not can be debated at some other time. So, rest our case regarding biometrics as a safe option for now.

SECURITY HAS ITS LIMITS

There is nothing as total safety. The internet is based absolutely on the concept of openness, and any kind of hiccups with regard to connectivity can drive users crazy. The endeavor is to make it easy for users and extremely tough for hackers. Passwords are without doubt a potent tool if you opt for a tough password. Similarly, 2FA is also a powerful tool, however biometrics are more effective than SMS codes. Further, you might have noticed that the frequently used SMS codes for 2FA aren’t very adequate, despite the perception that it is secure. If this has triggered an alarm bell inside you, then use a safe method available and, critically, let the companies who operate the services and apps you are hooked onto understand that you expect nothing but the best from them.

USERS SHOULD PUT WITH INCONVENIENCE FOR THE SAKE OF SECURITY

The disadvantage of performing better is that it adds on to your list of works, and might result in frustration for users, who should ideally have had a good password to begin with. However it is not at all amusing to find a notification from a bank, email service, big-box chain, insurance, or other company telling that your personal or financial details have been compromised by cyberattack. Nobody likes the idea of changing the password or getting a new credit card. Also, the personal or financial details that were breached are still lying unsafe before a wicked hand. The 2FA is nothing but an extension of security cover offered by a company to safeguard their services. It might cause a bit of discomfort or pain or frustration to the users but the users should realize it is for their betterment.

5 reasons why in-house mobile app development is ideal

5 reasons why in-house mobile app development is ideal

It won’t be an exaggeration to say that mobile apps have, literally, taken over our lives. With four billion people online and 31 billion linked devices, mobile apps are emerging as the most sought-after means of doing business for everyone from your customers to allies to your workers. As per Yahoo Flurry’s State of Mobile report, consumers in the US at present are on mobile devices for over five hours daily, and 90 percent of their time on mobile is consumed by apps. As a result, the time spent on mobile web browsers has come down by several notches to mere eight percent. Due to the craze for apps, your website is having a tough time to retain traffic. This explains the potency of apps in these times.

In case you’re not into creating customer-facing or enterprise-facing mobile applications already, the time is ripe for you to do the same. So, here are five reasons why training your staff to create apps in-house will be ideal for you.

1. All are into apps

According to Gartner, 79 percent of organizations which were surveyed have hiked their mobile expenditure by 36 percent since 2015, and by the conclusion of 2017, 25 percent of enterprises will have their own app store to deal with corporate-approved apps. As per a new study by Wakefield Research of 1,000 executives at entities with more than1,000 employees dissects the the business demand:

97 percent of executives stated that employees or classification inside their organization have sought new mobile apps or app features.

98 percent of executives are of the view that their company would immensely benefit from certain kinds of mobile apps.

2. Enterprise apps enhance capability in the domain

If you have safe apps on phones or tablets they offer the best method to connect workers and exchange instant data and business intelligence. With proprietary and safe mobile apps, data can be evaluated and updated quickly by salespeople, technicians, partners and others who want instant and genuine information to finish their processes, at any time and from anywhere in the globe.

3. Customers are largely turning mobile

These days purchases through Mobile are going above in-store and even website-oriented buys. Reason for this revolutionary change happens to be young adult consumers. “People are increasingly preferring mobile purchases,” says Sachin Gupta, CMO at Code Brew. “69 percent of millennials buy from their mobile phones and this trend is going to rise by many manifolds by 2020.” As per Google’s Mobile Path to Purchase report, 26 percent of consumers consider a mobile app as the point of beginning when it comes to search with the objective to buy.

4. Mobile apps boost loyalty among customers

Apps go a long way in enhancing customer loyalty. The logo of a company’s mobile app on their phones makes an impression on them constantly. And if the app is linked in anyway to your company’s loyalty program, it leaves a positive effect. As per a report by SmallBizTrends 70 percent of smartphone users are using their smartphone to gather points to earn discounts. These also facilitate smart location-triggered features such as geofenced push notifications of discounts and reviews.

5. Third party app development can be costly and inefficient

Assigning mobile app development would come across a convenient strategy, it has its own drawbacks. According to Wakefield study, 96 percent of companies who enlisted the services of third-party vendors faced problems, such as:

Development costs spiked considerably (43 percent)

Huge maintenance expenses (41 percent), and

Deficit in customizable options (39 percent)

Moreover, 92 percent stated that the third-party came up with applications that was way below their expectations.

Opting for external vendors or developers also entail a lot of risks. These could be anything from inferior product quality, rampant delays as a result of different time zones and source code insecurity,including the problem of traps that make customer information available to hackers for misuse. So, these kinds of risks are not worth taking up.

Tips regarding app creation internally

Looking for app developers to work for your company is any day desirable. But, the short duration or seasonal type can turn this into an expensive affair. As per Glassdoor, the US national average wage for a mobile app developer in 2017 happened to be $92,067. This implies that you are paying more than $19,000 extra simply to onboard that new employee prior to even writing a line of code. Also as per the Wakefield study, 42 percent of businesses who outsourced their mobile app development said they don’t have adequate skilled staff and that is why they opted for external sources. However, mobile app development skills are very convenient and affordable to gain. Training your company’s entire IT team in every aspect of mobile app development (including the latest Advanced Java, Python, Selenium 3.0 or Angular coding), will be more cost-effective than the hiring expenses of one new employee, excluding their salary.

Conclusion

Mobile apps are increasingly turning out to be extremely necessary for businesses. By outsourcing mobile app development your company is leaning heavily on another business and turns everything into a costly affair and even endangers your code and customer data.

Selecting new employees is also very expensive, however upgrading your staff with the existing technologies of mobile app development can be a good business proposition. The dynamism and cost-effectiveness your company enjoys turns you very competitive and facilitates fresh mobile marketing prospects.

Who is ideal for the app project: Developers, agency or partners?

Who is ideal for the app project: Developers, agency or partners?

Introduction

Let us assume that you are working on an app project. In case you don’t have the team for the same then you will have to create one. While scouting for talent, you might come across people who are pretty economical or very expensive. You want the best people on board for your app project. However, money is also a concern as well and not all cheap purchases live up to your expectation. The option before you is simple: you have to get the ideal candidates without loosening your purse strings much. You need to strike a perfect balance between money and talent. There are other considerations as well. Whether you need to hire a developer, agency etc. So, the question is how to kickstart the pricing part of the project?

What is required for a Development Project?

Firstly, you require a developer. Is that the only talent you require for the project?

No, you require a designer for the purpose of designing the app as well. This apart, you also require a QA engineer to ensure that the app is working fine. There will be a requirement for a project manager as well to make sure things are panning out according to the deadline or not. Hence, you need more than just one developer. Therefore, it has to be remembered that you need a team and each component in the team is significant to your app project.

Do you require the help of an App Development Agency?

Agency might look like a viable option as you don’t have to look for people individually. As an agency will have an exclusive team for app development. But agencies deal with man-hours and you might end paying a lot. Also, they will not challenge or contest your ideas in any way as they will be more than willing to do what you ask them to. This is where a partner can come in handy as he can guide you when you are going wrong and would suggest you in circumstances when you are stuck. Also, being a partner, he or she might be interested in taking your company to greater heights. Hence, you need to be sure as to what you require: partner, agency or create a team of your own. It has to be remembered that money is important but don’t base your decision merely on the basis of finance. There are things that can’t be quantified monetarily.

5 methods to employ while looking to build your team

We have already broached upon the basic requirements. Now let us get into the methods to be employed while handling developers, agencies or partners. These points will assist you take the best call.

Method #1 — Break down quotes by line items

Quotes need not be super detailed, but they should clarify how the developer or agency decided their prices. The ideal manner is to break down a quote line item by line item.

The whole intention behind the exercise is to make them justify the price.

This is done to ensure that no one cheats you while hiring their services.

Also, this makes sure you pay appropriate prices to everyone and not shortchange anyone in the process. This instills a sense of honesty and diligence in your team. So, be fair to them.

Also ensure that a proposal from a developer, partner, or agency fits into your scheme of things. After all, you don’t want anything that is not required for your project.

Method #2 — Differentiate Quotes in minute details

Once you get quotes from various sides, it is imperative to compare them one by one.

Find out if these quotes gel well with your business. Also, consider any additional service you might require. For example, you’ll have to take into account hosting expenses for your backend data. Push notification servers, analytics servers, servers for user notifications, and user authentication these things are there. All of them have to be added in the list of expenses and these might not be there in the initial quote. For instance, if you are dealing with an agency or a developer they might only quote what you have asked for and not what you require. So, once you get actively involved in the project and some additional expenses crop up, you are bound to get annoyed. You cannot back out as well, so it is better to opt for partners in such circumstances. They won’t throw up any surprises for you in the middle and can always assist you in pointing out what is amiss in your initial demand.

Method #3 — Be organized while differentiating line items

One needs to be organized while comparing line items. Let me explain the same in detail.

After getting several quotes from various developers or agencies things are dissected the way you have asked for. Now you need to compare everything in detail. While doing this

you need to weigh in on every feature that’s important to your business. This enables you to make a decision based on data. You need to factor in aspects such as longevity, marketing time, features involved etc. After this you will get a clear picture about your efficacy of the project.

Method #4 — Product or Solution

So what are you looking to get: a product, or a solution.

A product is basically a kind of widget that you are buying. It might be software or something tangible. While purchasing the items you can assess the price involved. This will be appropriate if the size of your problem is quite small. However, if you are confronting a huge problem, then the product won’t be of any use to you as you would require a solution.

For example, we are currently reeling under COVID-19 global pandemic. For businesses rhis is a huge problem as they have to devise a map for the next 1 year or so. It is true that this type of problem is tough to predict. However, with a partner it becomes easier to adapt to shifting markets. A partner can also help you plan a minimum viable product (MVP).

Hence, the crux of the matter is that a solution is more appropriate than a product. Solutions are ideal if you have a partner, who can deal with constant changes or problems confronting you.

Method #5 — Contest the Quote

By contesting or debating about a quote you can easily get a hang of the agency’s or developer’s intentions.

Simply ask them what difference it would make if we put in more money. They might come up with some excuses like your servers are not secure enough, so they need to protect them with encrypted data or your servers need to scale up to accommodate more users for your app.

Hence listen properly to what they are saying carefully. Are they giving new features? Or are they plugging the gaps that were already baked into the quote?

Alternatively you can also challenge the quote by asking them what they would do if you don’t have enough money. In case they have to do away with three features, what would they be.

So by requesting them to revise the quote you are cutting some flab from the same.

Therefore contest the quote in several ways. This manner you can assess the commitment of the developer or agency and also eliminate unnecessary frills from the initial quote.

Conclusion

With these methods you can assess your quotes in different ways. These would help you take the right call, whether you are dealing with an agency, developer or partners for your next big app development . For finding the best solutions opt for these methods.