The anatomy of a strong password can look pretty complex. The longer it is, the more secure it is. It cannot contain any actual words nor resemble anything one might find in a dictionary. On top of that, it should include a soup of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters. Yet, even following all of this does not guarantee an impenetrable password. Finding a solution was critical. At this point, 2FA makes a dramatic entrance onto our stage.
Password, we have a problem
Having a strong WordPress password policy goes a long way in bolstering account and WordPress security. After all, strong passwords are much harder to crack. While this is true, and a strong password policy is a definite must, the entire cycle is only as strong as its weakest link.
Plugins such as WPassword make it easy to implement WordPress password security policies. At the same time, it’s not exactly possible to ensure users do not use that very same password elsewhere. And once a user uses that password on another website (or a bunch of them), trouble starts brewing. Now, your entire security policy hinges on the security policy of someone else who may not be as zealous as you are about security.
If any of those other websites experience a security breach, the same password that’s used for logging in to your WordPress website is suddenly up for sale on the dark web, possibly at a discount. Once it’s in the public domain, multiple people can purchase it to do as they please – with your website getting caught in the crossfire.
Users are also known to share their passwords, with a recent survey showing that 49% of users share credentials. Users share passwords for myriad reasons – from getting the job done as quickly as possible to saving money on new accounts. This can lead to many issues as passwords have a greater risk of becoming public information.
You shall not pass – 2FA for WordPress
Strong passwords can stop attackers from cracking passwords, but unfortunately, you can do little if the password gets exposed (inadvertently or not). This is one problem that 2FA has its sights squarely on.
2FA stands for Two-factor authentication. What it does, in essence, is add another layer of security to the login process. The brilliant thing about 2FA is that rather than just asking for a secondary password, it asks for something completely different – such as access to your phone.
While someone with malicious intent living on the other side of the world might find it relatively easy to buy a stolen password, it’s going to be near impossible for that same person to steal the person’s phone. With 2FA requiring the use of a username and password combination AND a code that’s generated on that user’s phone to allow access, your login process just got way more secure.
The OTP Code
2FA uses what’s known as OTP, which stands for One Time Password. While there are different flavors of OTP, the most common one is TOTP. TOTP uses the actual time to generate a password every 30 seconds. This makes it even more difficult for unauthorized users to gain access since a completely new password is generated every 30 seconds, with the previous password instantly becoming obsolete.
A 2FA or authenticator app that users can install on their phones is responsible for generating the OTPs. The app then synchronizes with the website that uses 2FA through a QR code. The straightforward implementation of 2FA makes it a near-foolproof system that doesn’t compromise on security without requiring a degree in computer security to use.
Get the best of both worlds & double-boost the security of your WordPress authentication
You can easily double-boost the security of your WordPress website by installing WP 2FA and WPassword plugins. While the latter allows you to set password policies for your users, the WP 2FA plugin makes it easy to enable two-factor authentication for your WordPress website in minutes, helping you stay safer and more secure without giving away control over the user experience of your website.