In present scenario, the online account security has become a necessity of every end user due to continuous increase in the number of cybercrimes and malicious attacks. Till date, a vast number of the online accounts have been hacked by the hackers or intruders. The reason behind this rapid increase in the number of hacking incidents globally is the use of just password-only authentication in the login procedure. One important point to note here is that the hackers always keep an eye on your secret password, and they use brute force login attempts or several other cryptographic techniques to guess the password, and hack your valuable online account. Therefore, it is an extremely important step for the end users to maintain account security, and stay one step ahead of the hackers or intruders. One proven & best solution that helps to double security of the online accounts is Two Factor Authentication. This authentication mechanism is more than just password-only authentication.
When any end user logs into his online account, he supplies the combination of valid username and password for a successful login. This process of accessing the online account is known as 1FA (One Factor Authentication) or Single Step Verification. The major drawback linked with One Factor Authentication is that if someone else manages to know your secret password from any source, then you can’t stop that person to gain access to your online account at any cost. It means that 1FA is not a secure process. To resolve this security issue, 2FA emerges as an ideal solution.
Two Factor Authentication, also abbreviated as ‘2FA’, is a security method that adds an extra factor or step in the login process to check identity or authenticity of the user, who is logging the account. This security method is also known as Two Step Verification. 2FA is a highly secure method, and ensures that no unauthentic user can gain access to your prestigious online account.
Factors involved in 2FA process
Two Factor Authentication security method, as the name suggests, involves two factors: something you know (username, email, password, PIN, a secret question) and something you have (credit & debit card, mobile device, key fob, a unique verification code or One Time Password).
In very high security environments, the third factor: something you are is used to verify identity of the user, who is trying to log in to the account. This authentication factor includes biometric characteristics of the user like iris, retina, face scan, fingerprint, handwriting, voice recognition.
In a simple term, something you know + something you have = Two Factor Authentication.
Two Factor Authentication + something you are = Three Factor Authentication, also referred to as Multi Factor Authentication.
The advantage of using Two Factor Authentication security method in the login process is that even in the event of your password being compromised, it still isn’t sufficient to gain access to your online account.