Dropbox Allows Two Factor Authentication Via Mobile

Dropbox users can now use the mobile application to generate a key for two-factor authentication (2FA).

The cloud platform first introduced 2FA in 2012 following a spam scare, but the system relied on sending a code to a mobile phone via SMS. While this helped protect accounts, it meant many were unable to access content stored on Dropbox if they didn’t have a mobile signal.

This latest update gives users the option to send a notification to the Dropbox app when they log-in on the web. Tapping the button on the phone finishes the process.

Dropbox 2FA

Although this still requires a Wi-Fi connection, it does mean business travellers will be able to access the platform if they are on a flight for example, or if they are in a remote area or indoors.

“If you’ve ever been locked out of your account, you know it can be a major frustration—especially when you have deadlines to meet, and people waiting on you to respond,” said Dropbox. “The problem is, many users cannot reliably receive text messages or don’t keep track of emergency backup codes.

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“And sometimes you don’t have your two-factor authentication code generator or U2F security key on hand.”

Dropbox has spent the past few years trying to conquer the enterprise market following its initial success in the consumer sphere.

It has simultaneously tried to make its product easy to use, therefore winning the support of the workforce, and to boost the admin and security features, so it can get the greenlight from IT departments. Making 2FA easier to use helps fulfil both of these aims.

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Steve McCaskill

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

View Comments

  • Dropbox got this right in my view. Adding app-based 2FA for mobile smartphone users for whom securing accounts is a top priority, and continuing allowing for SMS-based 2FA , so that those who have already added 2FA by SMS are still secured. It will take time to migrate people over to app-based authentication.

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