With rapid increase in the security breaches, digital crime and internet fraud, the security of the online accounts and data has become an extremely important step for the authentic end users. Most of the security breaches and online accounts hacking are related to the passwords compromise. To access an online account, the end user requires a set of login credentials i.e. username and password. The password, being a single layer of protection, does not provide a great security level to the online accounts all the time. It’s due to the reason that it (password) can be guessed or compromised quite easily by the hackers using advanced cryptographic techniques. Therefore, it is better to use an extra layer of protection along with password-only verification in the login procedure to strengthen the online accounts security, and prevent them from all sorts of malicious attacks. Two Factor Authentication process is the right option.
What this process is?
Two Factor Authentication (2FA) is a security method that uses two credentials in the login procedure to verify identity of a user. 2FA security method is also referred to as Two Step Verification, as it requires both unique verification code or OTP (One Time Passcode) and a secret password for providing access to the end user. The unique verification code is immediately sent to the registered mobile device of the user, once he or someone else enters the valid username and password combination, and is valid only for a few seconds.
Different ways to authenticate a user
Possible ways for authenticating a user have been pointed below:
Something you know, also known as the knowledge factors. It includes username, password, PIN, a secret question and its answer.
Something you have, also known as the possession factors. It includes credit & debit card, mobile device.
Something you are, also known as the inherence factors. It includes biometric characteristics of the user such as iris, retina, face scan, voice recognition, fingerprint.
Time and Location factors – these are the fourth and fifth factors of authentication used in very high security demanding areas.
Two Factor Authentication security method uses any two of the above-listed authentication ways, especially ‘something you know’ and ‘something you have’ for verifying a user at the time of login. Without providing both these factors, it not possible even for an authentic end user to access his online accounts. If someone else manage to get your secret password, then he needs your registered mobile device as well to receive unique verification code and gain access to your online account successfully. In this way, Two Factor Authentication method secures online accounts of the end users from getting hacked.