Original Post: NordPass Authenticator | NordPass
By Vitalija Mekioniene
With NordPass Authenticator, get one-time passwords from your NordPass mobile app. It gives you all the security of two-factor authentication without an extra app.
The corporate world is abuzz about the need for two-factor (2FA) authentication for a reason. It’s a reliable way to add an additional layer of security to accounts that are otherwise only guarded by a single, probably weak, password.
Because passwords are a common default first-factor authentication, 2FA protects accounts in the increasingly likely event that your password is stolen, guessed, or hacked. Even with possession of your password, cybercriminals are faced with an additional hoop to hop through.
But while 2FA quickly becoming the new standard, so too are the common stumbling blocks associated with adding a step to the login process. Two-factor solutions can be clunky, confusing, and time consuming — making them a nuisance for employees.
And employees’ annoyance isn’t just damaging to morale. It presents a serious security risk.
Cybercriminals prey on this vulnerability by bombarding users with second-factor requests until they, out of exasperation or uncertainty, end up authenticating an unauthorized request for access. This technique is common enough to have a name – MFA fatigue – and was a key component in the now-infamous Uber breach this fall.
How can businesses implement two-factor authentication while avoiding its pitfalls?
Enter the latest NordPass feature: NordPass Authenticator. A leap toward a passwordless future, NordPass’ patented Stateless System To Protect Data (US Patent No. 11,528,130) solution combines the highest standard of security without compromising usability, offering multiple authentication factors from the same app.
What is NordPass Authenticator?
NordPass Authenticator is a feature that gives NordPass Business members the option to add an extra layer of security to their accounts with two-factor authentication without downloading or checking additional apps.
How does NordPass Authenticator work?
With NordPass Authenticator, the NordPass app performs double duty — in addition to managing passwords, it acts as an authenticator app, providing optional two-factor authentication for any credentials stored in the app.
With 2FA-enabled accounts, after entering their password, users will be prompted to enter a time-based one-time password (TOTP) to unlock their account.
Instead of getting a prompt by SMS — which is prone to manipulation by smishing — or having to launch a dedicated app, such as Google Authenticator or Authy, NordPass members can securely unlock the verification code from inside NordPass using their biometric data.
What problems does NordPass Authenticator solve?
NordPass Authenticator solves more than the problem of adding an additional layer of security to members’ accounts with two-factor authentication. It also addresses many of the most common usability issues and vulnerabilities inherent in other 2FA solutions.
Getting two-factor authentication with time-based one-time passwords (TOTP) from inside the NordPass app:
- Provides phish-resistant authentication
- Prevents “MFA fatigue” for credentials managed by NordPass
- Eliminates the need to download and manage additional software
- Allows users to add 2FA to any account, including to shared passwords
What makes NordPass Authenticator better?
NordPass Authenticator is more secure
NordPass Authenticator isn’t just another two-factor solution. It is more secure than other 2FA solutions offered by password managers.
The most common authentication factors can be broken down into three categories:
Something you have, a possession factor, such as a device or token.
Something you know, a knowledge factor, such as a password or time-based one-time password (TOTP).
Something you are, an inherence factor or biometric factor, such as a fingerprint or facial recognition.
Adding true two-factor authentication involves more than building an extra step in getting access to your accounts. To reap the security benefits of a second authentication factor, it should be properly distinct from the first factor and involve a different authentication type.
Imagine that for additional security you require both a key and a fob to enter your office. These two “authenticators” use the same technique to open the door. They are both something you have. If in addition to being a similar type, the key and fob are attached to each other or always stored in the same place, then this security method is no more secure than a key alone. It gives the illusion of additional security without the benefit.
Cybersecurity works much in the same way.
A common “first factor” is a password. If your second factor also falls under the “something you know” category and is stored alongside your first factor – like in a password manager – then it doesn’t meet the security standard for 2FA. That’s because the first and second factor share the same path for entry: your Master Password.
Using patented technology, NordPass Business has overcome this limitation in order to deliver all the security benefits of a true second factor in the easiest and most accessible way possible.
NordPass combines something you know (your Master Password) with authentication through something you are (using fingerprint or Face ID) on something you have (your cellphone) in order to unlock the time-based one-time password.
Combining a multitude of factors results in a higher standard of security and genuine second factor authentication that’s more than just two step verification.
NordPass Authenticator is more convenient
Many businesses are already inundated with apps. The adoption of more software is a trend that has accelerated with the popularity of remote and hybrid work options. The last thing your team members and IT need is to manage another application whose sole purpose is generating time-based one-time passwords.
With NordPass, the codes come from inside the app — with no additional app to download, learn, and manage.
NordPass Authenticator helps improve cross-team collaboration. It allows members to share passwords that have second-factor authentication without having to coordinate live.
When the password is shared, the recipient can unlock the two-factor code with their own biometrics on their own device — saving time and effort while keeping security measures intact.
Say goodbye to the hassle of sharing access with accounts that have 2FA. Now, your team can easily grant access with just a couple of clicks without compromising your company’s security.
And remember that for security software, convenience isn’t just “nice to have.” It can mean the difference between your team adopting the solution, or not.
NordPass Authenticator is more transparent
Managing two-factor authentication inside your password management app offers more transparency and control over your cybersecurity situation, in two ways.
First, it allows you to verify whether your team members are using 2FA and for which accounts. That makes it possible for your organization to perform a more accurate audit of accounts and credentials security. It helps you turn policy into practice in a measurable way.
Second, it allows you to maintain control and consistency over mandatory workplace apps. Without it, your team will likely adopt a hodgepodge of different authenticator apps for which it can be difficult to publish tailor-made security protocols and training materials.
Who can use NordPass Authenticator
NordPass Authenticator is now live and ready to use on the mobile app for all NordPass Business account holders of any tier. Soon, the feature will also be available for desktop.
If you’re a NordPass Business member and want to get started right away on adding an additional layer of security to your business accounts, visit the Help Guide for more information.
Or, if you don’t have a NordPass Business account yet…